Stoner back on top at Sepang

By Liam Marsden -

MotoGP

 01 March 2012 10:12

Factory Honda rider Casey Stoner returned to the top of the timesheets on the third day of the Sepang MotoGP test after engine failure kept all Hondas off track yesterday.

After all Honda riders - Stoner, Pedrosa, Bautista and Bradl - missed yesterday, Stoner wasted no time in setting the fastest time of 2:00.473. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa set the second fastest time over 40 laps, just 0.175 behind Stoner.

Former Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso was third fastest onboard his Tech 3 Yamaha, beating factory Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies. Lorenzo set the fourth fastest time, despite a crash on the final corner.

Team-mate Ben Spies crashed at turn seven on his way to posting the eighth fastest time. Alvaro Bautista and Nicky Hayden also crashed, the pair setting the seventh and 11th fastest times respectively.

Brit Cal Crutchlow completed the top five with a best time of 2:00.986, just 0.513 adrift of Stoner's best time.

Italian Valentino Rossi struggled on the third day. The Italian set the 10th fastest time, 1.077 behind Stoner and 0.058secs behind rookie Stefan Bradl in ninth.

Colin Edwards remains the fastest CRT rider. The American managed to close the gap to Stoner to 3.208, with a best time of 2:03.681.

1  Casey Stoner  Repsol Honda Team  2:00.473 
2  Dani Pedrosa  Repsol Honda Team  2:00.648  +0.175  +0.175  
3  Andrea Dovizioso  Monster Yamaha Tech 3  2:00.802  +0.154  +0.329  
4  Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha Factory Racing  2:00.877  +0.075  +0.404  
5  Cal Crutchlow  Monster Yamaha Tech 3  2:00.986  +0.109  +0.513  
6  Hector Barbera  Pramac Racing Team  2:01.231  +0.245  +0.758  
7  Alvaro Bautista  San Carlo Honda Gresini  2:01.275  +0.044  +0.802  
8  Ben Spies  Yamaha Factory Racing  2:01.432  +0.157  +0.959  
9  Stefan Bradl  LCR Honda  2:01.492  +0.060  +1.019  
10  Valentino Rossi  Ducati Team  2:01.550  +0.058  +1.077  
11  Nicky Hayden  Ducati Team  2:01.609  +0.059  +1.136  
12  Franco Battaini  Cardion AB Motoracing  2:03.490  +1.881  +3.017  
13  Colin Edwards  NGM Mobile Forward Racing  2:03.681  +0.191  +3.208  
14  Yonny Hern?ndez  Avintia Racing  2:06.632  +2.951  +6.159  
15  Ivan Silva  Avintia Racing  2:06.785  +0.153  +6.312