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Stoner tops warmup with lowered pace

Stoner tops warmup with lowered pace

Casey Stoner concluded a flawless series of practice sessions by posting the fastest time in the MotoGP warmup.

Laguna Seca poleman Casey Stoner completed a clean sweep of practice session top spots in the MotoGP warmup for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, although for the first time this weekend he did not breach the 1´22 barrier.

The reigning World Champion clocked a quickest time of 1´22.085 onboard the Ducati Desmosedici GP8 and, whilst his pace was slightly down on previous sessions, so was that of his rivals. Valentino Rossi was second quickest, some six-tenths of a second slower than his title rival and the man with whom he will line up on the front row for the Laguna Seca race.

Despite only qualifying on the third row, Chris Vermeulen is a good shot for a podium finish by virtue of the strong performance levels of his Bridgestone tyres. Rizla Suzuki´s Australian star ended the warmup session in third, showing once more that his race pace is that of a potential top three finisher. Stoner´s teammate Marco Melandri also featured in an all-Bridgestone top seven, which was filled out by Sylvain Guintoli, Shinya Nakano and Loris Capirossi.

Home rider Nicky Hayden will be doing all he can to heat up his tyres in his biggest race of the year so far, with fifteen laps to be enough to pick up the temperature and pace. The Repsol Honda rider was ninth, behind LCR Honda´s Randy de Puniet and ahead of Fiat Yamaha rookie Jorge Lorenzo.

A doubt for the Sunday race after a hard crash that fractured his left thumb, Alex de Angelis undertook fourteen laps in the warmup session. The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider was thirteenth fastest.


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