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Fast start for Stoner in Australia

Fast start for Stoner in Australia

The Australian took control at his home track while title defender Lorenzo lapped in second place and Simoncelli ranked third fastest in the field.

Despite the weather forecast calling for rain showers, the first day of track action at the Iveco Grand Prix of Australia began under a cloudless sky as Casey Stoner continued his domination this season at a track where he won last year, setting the fastest lap of the session with a time of 1’30.475 despite an early crash.

The Repsol Honda rider went down in turn 4 inside of the first ten minutes of the session after decimating the field, lapping over a second ahead of the rest of the pack, which was led by Marco Simoncelli until he too went down early in turn 10. The Italian quickly recovered after sliding out at the bottom of the hill to rank third with a time of 1’30.744, two tenths behind Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) in second.

Colin Edwards had a positive session at his favorite track, placing fourth in the field with a fast lap of 1’31.480, while Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) lapped just one hundredth of a second behind the Texan in fifth.

Fresh from his third victory of the season at Motegi, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) ranked sixth at a track he could not race at last year due to injury, 0.091s in front of the fastest Ducati in the session, the GP11.1 of Nicky Hayden.

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) and Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) landed eighth and ninth quickest in the session, while Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing) enjoyed a positive session on his return to racing with a ranking of tenth.

Damien Cudlin, who replaced an injured Capirossi at the Motegi round, is appearing again at his home track as a replacement for Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) who is also out due to injury. The Australian paced 4 tenths behind Toni Elías (LCR Honda) in 16th.


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