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Stoner sets the pace in the rain

Stoner sets the pace in the rain

Stoner led the MotoGP field in a wet third free practice session ahead of the Cardion ab Grand Prix České republiky qualifying. Lorenzo posted second quickest and Rossi joined the top three with the third fastest time.

The final practice before MotoGP qualifying began with rain falling on the Brno circuit, until the last 5 minutes which saw the sun trying to break through but never drying the track. The premier class riders none the less took advantage of the wet session, pushing hard for good times and consistent paces in anticipation of a wet race on Sunday, though times were more than ten seconds slower than those of the day before.

Jorge Lorenzo topped most of the session, until Casey Stoner took his spot and held it on top of the timings in the last five minutes. The Australian had crashed at the start of the session on the cold track, but remained unruffled and proceeded to push, posting a final time of 2'07.321.

Ducati Team rider Valentino Rossi, who was seventh fastest of the field on Friday, found a good set up for the rain to post a time of 2'07.443, landing him third on the charts, while Dani Pedrosa finished the session in fourth place, his time set in the first practice session of the weekend remaining fastest of the field so far.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) took a significantly higher spot in the line up than his fourteenth place on Friday, the Kentuckian lapping well in the rain with a time of 2'07.695, just 0.374s off the pace set by Stoner for the session.

In sixth was Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) following Hayden by 0.048s, with Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in seventh and Andrea Dovizioso in eighth. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) and Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) completed the top ten.

Karel Abraham (Cardion ab Motoracing) placed in eleventh at his home circuit with a time of 2'08.460, a gap of 1.139s off the leading time.

Wild card John Hopkins on the Rizla Suzuki had a fall in Turn 3 just fifteen minutes into the meet. He was taken to the Clinica Mobile where he was diagnosed with a fractured finger and was unable to rejoin the session.


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