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Stoner mutes Rossi response in second MotoGP practice session

Stoner mutes Rossi response in second MotoGP practice session

Australian continues in control of premier class field in second evening ride in Qatar.

The second MotoGP free practice session for the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar saw Casey Stoner once again sitting pretty at the head of the field, as the Australian shrugged off a response to his Friday dominance made by Valentino Rossi.

Stoner took times under the 1’57 mark for the first time this weekend, and it was only in the final stages of the session that Rossi was able to join him with a solitary lap. Stoner’s 1’56.310 time was just under a tenth of a second faster than that of the 2008 MotoGP World Champion, who later tried to further better his time in the final minute of the run.

Late surges from Loris Capirossi and 2008 poleman Jorge Lorenzo pushed them up into the top five and within half a second of Stoner’s time, with fifth-placed Marco Melandri separated from the group by nearly half a second. Melandri had been involved in a late night meeting with his mechanics on Friday to try and better his top ten placing from the first session, and took over 1.5 seconds off his previous best.

Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso and second Rizla Suzuki rider Chris Vermeulen placed ahead of Colin Edwards, Friday’s third quickest rider, whilst the top ten was completed by Randy de Puniet and James Toseland.

Stoner, Capirossi and Scot Racing’s Yuki Takahashi ran off track during the session, but the most spectacular incident involved Ducati Marlboro rider Nicky Hayden. The American had a technical problem with his Desmosedici GP9 which delayed his workload ahead of Saturday qualifying.


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