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Stoner back on top upon return

Stoner back on top upon return

Day three of the Official Test in Malaysia saw all the Hondas back on track and Casey Stoner rising to the top of the times by the mid-way point.

The third and final day of testing at Sepang began in hot and dry conditions, with teams getting to work early to make up for the time lost yesterday due to rain. All riders were out on track upon opening, including all four Hondas, and under ideal 40 degree track temperatures Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) bettering his top time from the first day by seven tenths with a 2’00.473 as the World Champion focused his efforts on efficient fuel consumption.

Jorge Lorenzo paced his YZR-M1 four tenths behind the Australian, bettering his own best time by four tenths while testing a new chassis. The Spaniard reported that he is especially happy with the improvements made to his bike’s electronics, saying the bike feels smoother. Lorenzo crashed before the midday point and returned to the Yamaha Factory garages, as did team-mate Ben Spies, who crashed in the morning before he could improve on his time from yesterday. That left the Spies fifth in the lineup, though the Texan reported being satisfied with the morning’s accomplishments thus far.

Dani Pedrosa improved his pace from Tuesday by nine tenths of a second, placing him six tenths off team-mate Stoner and just behind Lorenzo. Andrea Dovizioso (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) trailed Pedrosa by 0.2s to land in fourth position, as the Italian bettered his times by the same two tenths margin after finding a more efficient and comfortable riding position yesterday.

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was sixth by the halfway point of the day, 0.09s ahead of Valentino Rossi who bettered his time from yesterday by over half a second to claim the title of fastest Ducati in the field. Team-mate Nicky Hayden trailed the Italian by 0.059s, an improvement of one tenth from yesterday.

Héctor Barberá followed in ninth as the Pramac Racing rider bounced back from yesterday’s crash in the rain and bettering his time by three tenths. Alvaro Bautista crashed his San Carlo Honda Gresini bike though walked away uninjured after marking a seven tenths time improvement from Tuesday.

Following 0.26s behind Bautista was rookie Stefan Bradl on his LCR Honda, with NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards 1.66s off the 2011 Moto2 World Champion and the Avinitia Racing team pair of Ivan Silva and Yonny Hernandez both two seconds off Edwards.

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Tags:
MotoGP, 2012

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