Stoner heads Silverstone final free practice

Saturday, 16 June 2012

In cold conditions it was Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner who went fastest in the final free practice session of the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies.

The MotoGP™ grid left it late to head out in this morning’s practice session as bad weather conditions loomed overhead. Yet with 35 minutes left the imminent rain had blown away and riders headed out onto a fully dry, yet very cold track (around 13°C). Stoner looked strong from the start as he cemented his dominance with the fastest time of the weekend so far with a 2.03’941. Yamaha Factory racing duo Lorenzo and Spies were both just over four tenths behind the reigning world champion.

In fourth, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso was back on the pace, finishing just ahead of San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, who has been in impressive form all weekend on his satellite Honda. Stoner’s teammate Pedrosa finished in sixth, as he continues to get to grips with the new Bridgestone front tyre.

Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden was once again the fastest of the Ducatis in seventh, ahead of Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá, who was the only rider in the top ten not to improve on yesterday’s time. Ninth place went to Hayden’s teammate Valentino Rossi, in front of Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet in tenth on his ART machine.

It was drama for the British crowd early on as local rider Cal Crutchlow crashed on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. He was taken to medical centre where it was confirmed he suffered a sprained ankle. Similarly, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl crashed on his out lap, resulting in a wound to the fourth finger on his left hand. It was suspected that the cooler track temperatures were stifling the tyre warm up performance, leading to the aforementioned crashes, as well as one by Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez.

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