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Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner was the winner of a special edition BMW 135i in Sunday’s showdown session at the MotoGP Official Test.
The 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner was untouchable in Sunday afternoon’s BMW M Award at the southern Spanish circuit of Jerez, dominating the session onboard his formidable Desmosedici GP9 machine.
Stoner registered a superb 1’38.646s lap in the final ten minutes of the session even finding time to give a wave to his Ducati Marlboro team in their pit-box as he flew down the main straight at the end of the lap. Shortly after, the session was brought to a premature close by rainfall, with just over three minutes remaining on the clock.
The winner of last year’s BMW M Award in the rain at Jerez, Stoner’s repeat trick earned him another car to add to his collection, picking up a 135i ‘BMW Sauber F1 Team Edition’, of which only 135 have been made.
The reigning World Champion and winner of the 2007 BMW M Award Valentino Rossi got closest to Stoner with a 1’39.365s time, which put him second on the timesheet, 0.719s behind the Australian. Like Stoner, the Fiat Yamaha man is enjoying a good preseason and the pair look like they will push each other hard for the title in 2009.
Behind the front two it was Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen who sandwiched fourth placed Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo in the top five.
Causing a surprise in sixth place was Mika Kallio who impressed his Pramac Racing crew with his pace, despite running off track at one point.
In the continued absence of injured team-mate Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso was the fastest HRC representative. A good performance from returning Ducati rider Sete Gibernau, meanwhile, saw him lap eighth quickest on his Grupo Francisco Hernando satellite bike.
The top ten was rounded off by San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Toni Elias and the winner of the 2006 BMW M Award, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards.
With around 15 minutes remaining Edwards’ team-mate James Toseland suffered a nasty highside crash and was stretchered away, as his problematic preseason continued. The session was briefly red flagged as the English rider was given medical attention at the side of the track, with early reports from Clinica Mobile later indicating that he was heavily bruised but not seriously injured.
The 2009 MotoGP preseason concludes on Sunday afternoon after a final 3.15pm – 6.00pm free practice session, with the riders reconvening at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar for the first race of the year on the 10th-12th April weekend.
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