French MotoGP: Colin Edwards set fastest time of the weekend in third free practice

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Shanghai pole man Colin Edwards has set the fastest time of the weekend so far in Le Mans this morning in the final MotoGP practice session ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying for tomorrow’s French MotoGP.

The veteran Texan recorded a time of 1:33.765 with a quarter of the session remaining and also beat Dani Pedrosa’s best time from yesterday afternoon by half a second.

Pedrosa finished the session in third behind Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, who will be looking for his second victory of the season tomorrow after his stunning win in China a fortnight ago.

Casey Stoner was the early man on a mission and soon posted a time below the 1min 35sec barrier at 1:34.909. both Fiat Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo, still carrying injuries from Shanghai, and Valentino Rossi were also at the top of the timesheets just below Stoner as the first 10 minutes.

But Lorenzo’s session lasted just a few minutes as the Fiat Yamaha rider crashed out of practice again. After crashing in yesterday afternoon’s second free practice he was told he’d sustained no further injuries and another visit to the Clinica Mobile today has once again proven just to be a precaution.

Factory Ducati rider Stoner posted a 1:34.870, but fastest man from Friday, Dani Pedrosa soon got himself the time to beat with a 1:34.825 after 12 minutes on the Repsol Honda.

Pedrosa was then put into second by Rossi who was just under 0.1secs quicker.

Casey Stoner was back at the top after 24 minutes with a new best time of 1:34.412.

Colin Edwards was next to take the top spot just before the half hour mark as he posted a 1:34.336, with Dani Pedrosa moving into second ahead of Stoner.

Pedrosa then improved on his time next time round to go top with a 1:34.284.

Britain’s James Toseland was also making good progress on his Tech 3 Yamaha. Having never ridden at Le Mans before, this was only his third session at the circuit and he moved himself gradually up the pecking order from 15th to eighth.

And his Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate, Colin Edwards was also doing well and posted the fastest time again with just over 15 minutes to go with a 1:34.165.He then improved this on his 20th lap by 0.2secs to go 1:33.765 which was enough to keep him at the top until the chequered flag.

Britain’s James Toseland finished the session in a respectable ninth with his best lap recorded at 1:35.107 as he continues to learn the circuit.

Defending champion Casey Stoner was in fourth, unable to improve on his early time of 1:34.353 behind Pedrosa’s 1:34.229 set on his final flying lap.

French MotoGP third practice session results:

1 Colin EDWARDS USA Tech 3 Yamaha YAMAHA 1’33.765
2 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team YAMAHA 1’34.114
3 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team HONDA 1’34.229
4 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team DUCATI 1’34.353
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP HONDA 1’34.438
6 Chris VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP SUZUKI 1’34.746
7 Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP HONDA 1’34.767
8 John HOPKINS USA Kawasaki Racing Team KAWASAKI 1’34.828
9 James TOSELAND GBR Tech 3 Yamaha YAMAHA 1’35.107
10 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP SUZUKI 1’35.128
11 Shinya NAKANO JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini HONDA 1’35.190
12 Nicky HAYDEN USA Repsol Honda Team HONDA 1’35.321
13 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team YAMAHA 1’35.345
14 Toni ELIAS SPA Alice Team DUCATI 1’35.642
15 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini HONDA 1’35.700
16 Marco MELANDRI ITA Ducati Marlboro Team DUCATI 1’35.891
17 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Alice Team DUCATI 1’36.044
18 Anthony WEST AUS Kawasaki Racing Team KAWASAKI 1’36.228



Sarah Carnell

By Sarah Carnell