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Stoner sets early Qatar pace

MOTO GP: World champion Casey Stoner threw down the gauntlet to his rivals in impressive style on Thursday when he topped the first free practice for the season-opening Grand Prix of Qatar.


By Agence France-Presse

Friday 6 April 2012, 10:02AM


The Australian Honda rider clocked 1min 56.474sec to edge out former champion Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha with Ducati's Nicky Hayden almost half a second off the pace in third.

Seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi, who has won this race three times, endured a miserable start to his season, managing just the 10th best time, over a second behind Stoner.

Stoner will start as favourite for Sunday's race to be held under the Losail circuit floodlights having won four times in the elite class in six visits.

QSI International School Phuket

First free practice times:

1. Casey Stoner (AUS/Honda) 1:56.474, 2. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) at 0.174, 3. Nicky Hayden (USA/Ducati) 0.450, 4. Ben Spies (USA/Yamaha) 0.508, 5. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 0.656, 6. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Yamaha) 0.921, 7. Alvaro Bautista (ESP/Suzuki) 1.038, 8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Honda) 1.073, 9. Hector Barbera (ESP/Ducati) 1.438, 10. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Ducati) 1.440

11. Karel Abraham (CZE/Ducati) 1.465, 12. Stefan Bradl (GER/Honda) 2.460, 13. Randy de Puniet (FRA/Aprilia) 3.511, 14. Colin Edwards (USA/Suter-BMW) 3.570, 15. Michele Pirro (ITA/FTR-Honda) 3.848, 16. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 4.246, 17. Ivan Silva (ESP/Kawasaki-FTR) 4.664, 18. Mattia Pasini (ITA/Aprilia) 4.787, 19. Yonny Hernandez (COL/Kawasaki-FTR) 4.802, 20. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ioda) 4.878

 

 

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