Stoner edges Honda team-mate Pedrosa in final MotoGP practice at Indianapolis
|By Sam Tremayne||Saturday, August 18th 2012, 15:06 GMT|
Casey Stoner set a searing pace to edge Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa and top the third and final MotoGP practice session at Indianapolis.
In contrast to Friday, when the Australian was hampered by bike issues, he was quickly into his stride and within the opening six minutes had already gone faster than anyone else all weekend.
In the closing minutes his position came under threat from Pedrosa however, as the Spaniard - fastest in second practice - got down to a 1m39.369s.
Stoner's response was immediate, the reigning champion shaving a further two tenths off that benchmark to end the session on top.
In what was a good session for Honda riders, Yamaha's Ben Spies was the only other factory rider able to get close to the front pair - his best effort, set in the closing stages, just 0.017s shy of Pedrosa.
Stefan Bradl on the LCR satellite Honda ended the session in fourth, having run as high as second in an impressive display.
Tech 3 Yamaha's Andrea Dovizioso meanwhile prevented Honda from locking out four of the top five positions as he denied Gresini's Alvaro Bautista for fifth late on.
The Italian was the last rider to get within one second of Stoner. Jorge Lorenzo, the points leader heading into Indianapolis, was seventh fastest but more than 1.1s down on his Honda rivals.
Ducati's Valentino Rossi was not far behind in eighth, while the second Tech 3 Yamaha of Cal Crutchlow and Rossi's team-mate Nicky Hayden rounded out the top 10. Crutchlow suffered a fall at Turn 4 in the final two minutes, but was unharmed.
Of the CRT riders, there were impressive performances from Aspar's Aleix Espargaro and Avintia's Yonny Hernandez, who finished just over two seconds down on Stoner in 11th and 12th respectively.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Casey Stoner Honda 1m39.182s 2. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m39.369s + 0.187s 3. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m39.386s + 0.204s 4. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m39.681s + 0.499s 5. Andrea Dovizioso Tech 3 Yamaha 1m40.018s + 0.836s 6. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m40.206s + 1.024s 7. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m40.339s + 1.157s 8. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m40.348s + 1.166s 9. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m40.402s + 1.220s 10. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m40.513s + 1.331s 11. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 1m41.455s + 2.273s 12. Yonny Hernandez Avintia BQR-Kawasaki 1m41.473s + 2.291s 13. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 1m41.706s + 2.524s 14. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 1m41.724s + 2.542s 15. Mattia Pasini Speed Master Aprilia 1m41.748s + 2.566s 16. Toni Elias Pramac Ducati 1m42.363s + 3.181s 17. Michele Pirro Gresini FTR-Honda 1m42.892s + 3.710s 18. Ivan Silva Avintia Inmotec-Kawasaki 1m42.946s + 3.764s 19. Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Aprilia 1m42.982s + 3.800s 20. James Ellison Paul Bird Aprilia 1m43.320s + 4.138s 21. Colin Edwards Forward Suter-BMW 1m43.341s + 4.159s 22. Steve Rapp Attack-Kawasaki 1m44.179s + 4.997s 23. Aaron Yates GP Tech BCL-Suzuki 1m45.474s + 6.292s