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Stoner on top by midway on day one

Stoner on top by midway on day one

The Repsol Honda rider was the quickest rider midway through the opening day of the Qatar Test at Losail on Sunday.

The final pre-season MotoGP Test of 2011 got underway at 6pm local time in Qatar on Sunday evening, and by 9pm Casey Stoner was the fastest rider with a time of 1'56.414. The Australian's effort came on only his fifth lap of the session, as he picked up where he had left off at the previous Test at Sepang just over two weeks ago.

Just three-hundredths of a second behind Stoner was another Honda, but this one came in the shape of Hiroshi Aoyama's Gresini RC212V, as the Japanese rider placed himself second in the formulating timesheet order. Yamaha Factory Racing's Ben Spies was 0.149s off Stoner in third, with defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo – who had been the first rider out on track at the start of the session – fourth at 0.273s off the top time.

Repsol Honda duo Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso completed the top five, separated by little over a tenth of a second and the final two to get within half a second of their team-mate at the top. Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Colin Edwards and San Carlo Honda Gresini's Marco Simoncelli were seventh and eighth respectively.

Valentino Rossi experienced a crash at Turn 9 just over an hour into the session but appeared uninjured when he returned to the Ducati Team garage. The Italian was ninth by 9pm LT, 0.857s off Stoner and ahead of team-mate Nicky Hayden in tenth with the American 1.5s off position one.

You can keep track of the updated times for Sunday by clicking here. A full end of day report from will follow the conclusion of Sunday's session.

MotoGP, 2011

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