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Stoner sets the pace in second MotoGP™ free practice

Stoner sets the pace in second MotoGP™ free practice

Reining World Champion Casey Stoner threw down the gauntlet for this weekend´s Grande Prémio de Portugal Circuito Estoril by setting the fastest time of the day in the second MotoGP™ practice session.

After the morning session was largely unproductive due to a partly-damp track, the afternoon´s practice was held in dry conditions, giving a much better indication of the riders´ form.

Stoner´s lap of 1.38´396 put him just three tenths ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing´s Ben Spies, who has worked tirelessly all day to get his season back on track, after some disappointing performances in the previous rounds.

Rounding out the top three is Monster Yamaha Tech 3´s Cal Crutchlow, who continues to impress on his satellite Yamaha, finishing just over two hundredths off Spies. Stoner´s team mate Dani Pedrosa set the fourth fastest time of the day, as he looks to repeat his victory at the track from the previous year.

In fifth, Yamaha´s birthday-boy Jorge Lorenzo was having a subdued session at the track where he has taken three victories in the past four outings. Behind him, San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Álvaro Bautista set the sixth fastest time just over half a second off Stoner, as he continues to get to grips with his satellite Honda.

Seventh place is occupied by Ducati Team rider Nicky Hayden, who will be looking to repeat his front row start last time out, in front of Pramac Racing´s Héctor Barberá. Barberá once again got the better of Hayden´s teammate Valentino Rossi, who could not finish any higher than ninth, despite a good showing in the morning session. Completing the top ten is Tech 3´s Andrea Dovizioso, who remained in the pits for quite some time with a bike issue.

Top CRT honour went to Power Electronics Aspar rider Randy de Puniet, who is looking to improve on his DNF in Jerez. Came IodaRacing Project´s Danilo Petrucci had to end his session early with a mechanical issue as well.


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