Brno MotoGP: Casey Stoner quickest in wet conditions

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Casey Stoner climbed off his sickbed to post the fastest time in a rain affected final free practice session in Brno this morning.

Torrential overnight rain stopped before the third and final session, but the track remained wet throughout with rain starting to fall again in the closing stages.

Quickest in yesterday’s two dry practice sessions, Stoner’s best time of 2.09.609, which he clocked on only his fourth lap was never bettered.

Fellow Aussie and rain specialists Chris Vermeulen got closest to the factory Ducati rider as a best lap of 2.10.168 left him 0.559 adrift.

Third quickest was Alex de Angelis as he edged out San Carlo Honda team-mate Shinya Nakano, who continues to impress on his factory Honda debut in the Czech Republic.

Just 0.176s split the Gresini team-mates, with Bridgestone again dominating proceedings.

World championship leader Valentino Rossi was fifth quickest as he posted his best time of 2.11.215 on his last lap. That was still 1.6s slower than Stoner’s benchmark.

It was another nightmare morning for Michelin with Spaniard Dani Pedrosa languishing down in eighth place. He clocked a best time of 2.11.762, as he was the only Michelin rider in the top ten.

Factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo was way down in 15th as he could only muster a best lap time of 2.14.384. Even worse was the form of Tech 3 Yamaha duo Colin Edwards and James Toseland.

Texan Edwards was 16th and 5.2s off the pace, while British rider Toseland was dead last with a best time of 2.15.613. That left him trailing 6.004s slower than Stoner.

Toseland is wearing a black armband in Brno in memory of late friend Craig Jones, who lost his life in a crash at the Brands Hatch World Supersport round earlier this month.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt