Misano MotoGP: Casey Stoner ends practice on top

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Casey Stoner shrugged off the pain of a left wrist injury to continue his domination of the Misano GP this morning.

Having revealed yesterday that he was suffering a recurrence of an old broken wrist he first injured in 2003, the reigning world champion still easily beat his rivals in the third and final free practice session.

A best time of 1.34.365 set in the closing five minutes saw the factory Ducati rider beat Valentino Rossi by 0.711s, and Stoner’s time was 0.5s faster than he managed when topping the timesheets yesterday.

Rossi had slipped out of the three this morning before a late attack saw him clock a best of 1.35.076 in warm and sunny conditions. That was marginally faster than his best time from Friday as he held onto second spot overall.

Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was the best Michelin rider this morning as he posted a 1.35.160 to claim third, with Chris Vermeulen in fourth a further 0.202s adrift. The Aussie though was the last rider to lap within a second of compatriot Stoner.

Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards was fifth but 1.060s behind Stoner, with factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa slowly building up his pace to claim seventh. Edwards ended sixth on combined times though as he was one of four riders who failed to better their times from yesterday.

British rider James Toseland was only 13th fastest this morning with a best lap of 1.36.047. That was slightly quicker than yesterday and he finished 13th too on combined times.

Factory Kawasaki rider John Hopkins was back in the saddle of his ZX-RR this morning, but he was last and 18th with a best time of 1.37.

Hopkins missed the whole yesterday with Kawasaki stating he was continuing to suffer from a rib injury first picked up in Brno earlier this month. Personal problems though have been cited as the reason for his surprise absence.

1  Casey STONER   AUS  Ducati Marlboro Team   Ducati   1’34.365  
2  Valentino ROSSI  ITA  Fiat Yamaha Team   Yamaha   1’35.076  
3  Jorge LORENZO   SPA  Fiat Yamaha Team   Yamaha   1’35.160  
4  Chris VERMEULEN  AUS  Rizla Suzuki MotoGP   Suzuki   1’35.362  
5  Colin EDWARDS   USA  Tech 3 Yamaha    Yamaha   1’35.425  
6  Dani PEDROSA   SPA  Repsol Honda Team   Honda   1’35.520  
7  Loris CAPIROSSI  ITA  Rizla Suzuki MotoGP   Suzuki   1’35.534  
8  Shinya NAKANO   JPN  San Carlo Honda Gresini  Honda   1’35.549  
9  Randy DE PUNIET  FRA  LCR Honda MotoGP   Honda   1’35.628  
10  Alex DE ANGELIS  RSM  San Carlo Honda Gresini  Honda   1’35.739  
11  Andrea DOVIZIOSO  ITA  JiR Team Scot MotoGP   Honda   1’35.802  
12  Toni ELIAS   SPA  Alice Team    Ducati   1’35.853  
13  James TOSELAND   GBR  Tech 3 Yamaha    Yamaha   1’36.047  
14  Sylvain GUINTOLI  FRA  Alice Team    Ducati   1’36.089  
15  Nicky HAYDEN   USA  Repsol Honda Team   Honda   1’36.203  
16  Marco MELANDRI   ITA  Ducati Marlboro Team   Ducati   1’36.273  
17  Anthony WEST   AUS  Kawasaki Racing Team   Kawasaki  1’36.957  
18  John HOPKINS   USA  Kawasaki Racing Team   Kawasaki  1’37.346

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt