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MOTOGP NEWS 

Stoner edges Honda team-mate Pedrosa in final MotoGP practice at Indianapolis

Casey Stoner, Honda, Indianapolis 2012Casey 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
Daytona Competition
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