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Stoner leads Honda surge by midway stage on day three

Stoner leads Honda surge by midway stage on day three

The Australian and his Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa had both gone under the 2'00” mark by 2pm local time on Thursday at the Sepang Test.

Casey Stoner's eminence on the timesheet at the Sepang Test continued on the third and final day in Malaysia, as the Repsol Honda rider led the lap times by 2pm local time with an impressive time of 1'59.665. Having hinted that the 2'00” barrier would be broken with his progressive pace on the previous two days, the Australian was joined as the only rider to duck under two minutes by team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who was 0.138s behind his colleague.

A third RC212V completed the top three and this one came in the shape of Marco Simoncelli. The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider, fastest at the last Test here, posted a 2'00.163 which left him 0.378s ahead of third factory Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso who in fourth position maintained the dominance of the machine on the timesheet at this Test.

Ben Spies completed his day early at midday still suffering some lingering effects of a crash the previous day. The Factory Yamaha Racing rider's best effort on Thursday was a 2'00.678 which put him almost three-tenths ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Colin Edwards and team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who had registered a 2'01.003 by halfway.

Completing the early running top ten on the final day was Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Héctor Baberá (Mapfre Aspar). The Japanese rider escaped uninjured from a crash at Turn 9 just before midday.

Back on track on Thursday as he tries to make up for time lost by his absence through illness the previous day was Valentino Rossi. By 2pm the Ducati Team rider had completed 33 laps with a best time of 2'01.469 – which was 1.804s off Stoner's pace.

Check back on for a full end of day report later, with video highlights and reaction coming this afternoon. You can stay up to date with the timings from the third and final day and see timesheets from the previous sessions by clicking here.

MotoGP, 2011

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