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Stoner quickest in second practice

Casey Stoner, Ducati, Phillip IslandCasey Stoner emerged fastest as Phillip Island dried up for the second practice session of the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

Although the strong winds and cold temperatures remained, yesterday's rain was no longer present, with sunny skies greeting the MotoGP field this morning.

The track remained very damp in places, though, and there was little activity in the first half of the session.

When running did begin earnest, Stoner's Ducati was fastest for most of the way, and eventually ended up with a 0.757-second gap back to his rivals thanks to a final lap of 1m31.243s.

The order behind him was extremely mixed up, with the Tech 3 Yamahas of Colin Edwards - rapid throughout the morning - and Ben Spies second and third, ahead of world champion Jorge Lorenzo's works Yamaha.

Nicky Hayden completed the top five on the second Ducati, ahead of Honda's Andrea Dovizioso, LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet, Valentino Rossi's Yamaha, and the two Gresini Hondas.

Gresini's Marco Melandri had been quickest for a while early on, but crashed on a damp kerb at Turn 11 just after hitting the front. He re-emerged on his spare bike later.

De Puniet was the only other man to fall, tumbling from his bike in the gravel after running straight on at the hairpin. A few minutes earlier, Stoner had made the same mistake but managed to stay upright and tip-toe back accross the sodden grass to rejoin - as did Dovizioso when he ran wide at MG later.

Dani Pedrosa was 3.6s off the pace for Honda as he continued to play himself in after his broken collarbone. He completed 19 laps and was slowest in the session.

Pos  Rider             Team               Time       Gap
 1.  Casey Stoner      Ducati             1m31.243s
 2.  Colin Edwards     Tech 3 Yamaha      1m32.000s  + 0.757s
 3.  Ben Spies         Tech 3 Yamaha      1m32.101s  + 0.858s
 4.  Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha             1m32.168s  + 0.925s
 5.  Nicky Hayden      Ducati             1m32.209s  + 0.966s
 6.  Andrea Dovizioso  Honda              1m32.226s  + 0.983s
 7.  Randy de Puniet   LCR Honda          1m32.449s  + 1.206s
 8.  Valentino Rossi   Yamaha             1m32.667s  + 1.424s
 9.  Marco Simoncelli  Gresini Honda      1m32.739s  + 1.496s
10.  Marco Melandri    Gresini Honda      1m33.092s  + 1.849s
11.  Aleix Espargaro   Pramac Ducati      1m33.303s  + 2.060s
12.  Mika Kallio       Pramac Ducati      1m33.742s  + 2.499s
13.  Hector Barbera    Aspar Ducati       1m34.055s  + 2.812s
14.  Alvaro Bautista   Suzuki             1m34.065s  + 2.822s
15.  Loris Capirossi   Suzuki             1m34.454s  + 3.211s
16.  Hiroshi Aoyama    Interwetten Honda  1m34.718s  + 3.475s
17.  Dani Pedrosa      Honda              1m34.804s  + 3.561s
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