Lorenzo responds with top FP3 time

Friday, 6 April 2012

Jorge Lorenzo signed off the final practice at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar with the fastest lap of the weekend so far, with Cal Crutchlow and Casey Stoner – who had been quickest in the two previous sessions – in the top three.

After Casey Stoner had led both of the previous practices Jorge Lorenzo took control of the final session on Friday, setting the best lap in FP3 and raising expectations for an exciting qualifying run on Saturday. The Yamaha Factory Racing rider put in a lap of 1'55.302 to top the timesheet, as he responded to the reigning World Champion's earlier efforts.

Completing a superb FP3 display in second position was Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who was just 0.154s off Lorenzo with a time of 1'55.456. Repsol Honda rider Stoner ended the last practice third fastest in a time of 1'55.674, although he did meet some on-track traffic when trying to put in one last flying lap before the 45 minutes were up.

Andrea Dovizioso complemented his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Crutchlow's impressive display with the fourth best time, and the Italian was the last rider to run under 1'56”. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), who had a fall in the earlier FP2 session, showed little after effects as he lapped fifth fastest at 0.812s off Lorenzo.

Héctor Barberá (Pramac Racing) was the highest placing Ducati in sixth with factory team riders Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi in seventh and eighth respectively. Rookie Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) and Álvaro Bautista of the San Carlo Honda Gresini team completed the top 10.

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) only rode eight laps in the session, after crashing just 10 minutes in, and the American ended 11th on the timesheet as the only rider unable to improve on his time from the earlier practice. Randy de Puniet (Power Electronics Aspar) was again the quickest CRT rider in 13th, although the Frenchman had a fall at the very end of the session which left him limping away from his Aprilia machine.

NGM Mobile Forward Racing's Colin Edwards, on a BMW-powered Suter, kept the competition with De Puniet close at just 0.049s off his rival.

The MotoGP riders will return to action at 7.55pm local time on Saturday, for the 60-minute qualifying session.

TAGS Qatar

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