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Australia MotoGP: Casey Stoner fastest after early crash

Published: 14 October 2011

Casey Stoner bounced back from an early crash to top the timesheets on the opening day of practice for his home race at the spectacular Phillip Island circuit today.

But the home favourite, who could wrap up his second MotoGP world title on his 26th birthday on Sunday, joined a chorus of criticism at Phillip Island’s bumpy track surface.

The Aussie crashed his Repsol Honda RC212V at Turn 4 in this morning’s session on only his fourth lap but finished quickest at the end of two 45-minute sessions run in gloriously sunny conditions.

It was a slow speed front-end crash for Stoner and came just after he’d clocked a best time of 1.30.475. That actually turned out to be the fastest time of the day, with Stoner quickest again in the second practice session. But this afternoon he could only get down to a best lap of 1.30.535.

His best time was still 0.289s faster than Jorge Lorenzo and Marco Simoncelli in third, the Italian crashing twice at Turn 10 today.

Only Simoncelli and Ben Spies who finished inside the top six today managed to improve their pace in the second session and Stoner said: "Nobody really went quicker this afternoon than they did this morning. I think it is tyre degradation. The conditions were a little bit warmer this afternoon than they were this morning and with a little bit more wind as well, it was just more difficult to get the times. I’m surprised only myself Marco and Jorge are really fast enough. Everybody else seems to be struggling a little bit more than us. I don’t feel too comfortable with the bike today. I think we can improve the bike a lot, so that’s something good to look forward to."

Stoner, who must score 10 points more than Lorenzo to clinch Honda’s first world title in the 800cc era, described the bumpy surface at his beloved Phillip Island as ‘terrible’.

Stoner has never lost in the 800cc era at his home track but like many of his rivals, he was less than complimentary about the state of the surface.

He added: "This year the track’s terrible. It’s always been a little bit bumpy into Turn One and maybe one or two other small bumps, but this year there are a lot more aggressive than they were in the past. I’m not too happy with the condition of the track. I don’t know what they’ve been racing around here, but it’s made the track a lot worse.

"The last corner I lost the front this morning and also Turn Six, there’s a lot more bumps. It is almost like they’ve been driving Formula One cars around here. It seems to be really close to the kerb we’re fine, so it’s definitely cars that have done it. But one or two metres out from the kerb seems to be really, really bumpy. You can’t go into the corner, go wide, and come back in for the exit, because you go out there and you hit the bumps and you lose a lot of time. For such a fast track, it’s a little scary."

Valentino Rossi was also critical of the surface and he told MCN: "The track is not in fantastic condition and this afternoon was worse than this morning. There are a lot of bumps and it is difficult to ride. Also it is because the rear slide a lot very quickly. Maybe it is more the marriage between tyres and this type of asphalt that is not fantastic."

Free Practice 1 results

1. 27 Casey Stoner AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 323.5 1'30.475 
2. 1 Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 320.1 1'30.744 0.269 / 0.269
3. 58 Marco Simoncelli ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 318.3 1'30.951 0.476 / 0.207
4. 5 Colin Edwards USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 320.4 1'31.480 1.005 / 0.529
5. 4 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 323.9 1'31.532 1.057 / 0.052
6. 26 Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 315.6 1'31.571 1.096 / 0.039
7. 69 Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team Ducati 319.8 1'31.662 1.187 / 0.091
8. 11 Ben Spies USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 318.1 1'31.824 1.349 / 0.162
9. 7 Hiroshi Aoyama JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 322.2 1'31.935 1.460 / 0.111
10. 65 Loris Capirossi ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 325.9 1'32.052 1.577 / 0.117
11. 14 Randy De Puniet FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 316.7 1'32.096 1.621 / 0.044
12. 46 Valentino Rossi ITA Ducati Team Ducati 319.2 1'32.114 1.639 / 0.018
13. 19 Alvaro Bautista SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 321.0 1'32.393 1.918 / 0.279
14. 35 Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 317.9 1'32.583 2.108 / 0.190
15. 17 Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 321.2 1'32.615 2.140 / 0.032
16. 24 Toni Elias SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 318.9 1'33.641 3.166 / 1.026
17. 6 Damian Cudlin AUS Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 314.8 1'34.121 3.646 / 0.480

Free Practice 2 results

1. 27 Casey Stoner AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 318.8 1'30.535 
2. 58 Marco Simoncelli ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 314.4 1'30.912 0.377 / 0.377
3. 1 Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 313.0 1'31.111 0.576 / 0.199
4. 11 Ben Spies USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 312.7 1'31.495 0.960 / 0.384
5. 26 Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 311.3 1'31.543 1.008 / 0.048
6. 7 Hiroshi Aoyama JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 317.0 1'31.582 1.047 / 0.039
7. 14 Randy De Puniet FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 313.4 1'31.670 1.135 / 0.088
8. 19 Alvaro Bautista SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 317.5 1'31.777 1.242 / 0.107
9. 5 Colin Edwards USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 310.2 1'31.805 1.270 / 0.028
10. 4 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 318.4 1'31.825 1.290 / 0.020
11. 69 Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team Ducati 313.9 1'31.899 1.364 / 0.074
12. 35 Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 314.1 1'31.969 1.434 / 0.070
13. 46 Valentino Rossi ITA Ducati Team Ducati 316.5 1'32.014 1.479 / 0.045
14. 65 Loris Capirossi ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 310.9 1'32.082 1.547 / 0.068
15. 17 Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 313.4 1'32.360 1.825 / 0.278
16. 24 Toni Elias SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 317.8 1'32.639 2.104 / 0.279
17. 6 Damian Cudlin AUS Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 310.1 1'33.658 3.123 / 1.019

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