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Stoner prepares for pole challenge with FP3 push

Stoner prepares for pole challenge with FP3 push

The Ducati Team rider set the quickest lap of the weekend so far at Aragón in the last practice before QP. Following him in the session was Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden.

Casey Stoner upped the ante at the Gran Premio A-Style de Aragón on Saturday morning with the fastest lap in the third and final practice ahead of qualifying, posting a best time of 1'50.115 to lay down a new premier class marker on the circuit. The Ducati rider was fourth fastest overall on Friday but found the desired step up on his Desmosedici GP10 on day two as he lined up a challenge for pole position later in the day.

Following the Australian on the timesheet was Dani Pedrosa, who had been the quickest on Friday. The Repsol Honda rider was 0.337s off Stoner as he also steeled himself for another battle for prime position on the grid. Third, at almost six-tenths off Stoner, was his Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden who continued his impressive form this weekend.

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) placed fourth in the session with Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo fifth on his Fiat Yamaha at 0.649s off Stoner. With the FP3 times producing each rider's best effort of the weekend so far the Spaniard will be looking for a significant advancement in qualifying as he lines up another close battle with Pedrosa and, on this form, Stoner too.

Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was the quickest rookie in sixth with Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda), Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Marco Simoncelli and Marco Melandri (both San Carlo Honda Gresini) completing the top ten.

In unfamiliar territory down in 11th was reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha), who was 1.473s off Stoner's marker.

Álvaro Bautista was running in eighth position when he crashed at turn 14 in the latter stages of the session. The Rizla Suzuki rider was unharmed, with his GSV-R machine taking the damage and he returned to the track on his second bike to eventually time in 14th quickest.

The qualifying session for the MotoGP class gets underway at 2.05pm local time.


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