Stoner goes quickest ahead of qualifying at Le Mans

Saturday, 19 May 2012

In a final free practice held in chilly conditions at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France in Le Mans, it was Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner who set the pace ahead of Cal Crutchlow.

Stoner, who has been fastest in every session so far this weekend, set a time of 1.33’945, only slightly down on his pace yesterday. This, despite suffering a low-side crash half way through the session. He was followed by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who showed a significant improvement in pace over yesterday, giving his team a boost at their home Grand Prix.

Bringing yet further joy to the French team was Crutchlow’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso finishing third, just four thousands of a second off the Brit. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo set the fourth fastest time, as he continues to hunt for the ideal set-up at the track.

San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista occupied fifth, continuing his good run of form this weekend. Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa was almost seven tenths off the front, as he failed to replicate the pace he showed yesterday.

Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi showed signs of improvement, placing his Desmosedici in seventh, less than a second off the top. He was followed by Héctor Barberá of the Pramac Racing Team, who has been consistently quick at the French track. Rossi’s teammate Nicky Hayden has been struggling somewhat this weekend and could only manage ninth, yet displaced Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham into tenth.

Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci crashed very early in the session, followed shortly by Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini, who high-sided himself of his bike in the first chicane. Whilst Petrucci was able to head back out on his second bike, Pasini was diagnosed with a fractured metatarsal in his left foot and contusions to his left wrist, putting his qualifying session in doubt.

TAGS France

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