Stoner pips Simoncelli in final session
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, May 14th 2011, 08:59 GMT|
Casey Stoner came out on top in a late battle with Marco Simoncelli to set the fastest time in final practice at Le Mans, as Hondas continued to dominate the French Grand Prix weekend.
Friday pacesetter Stoner had been on top for most of this morning's session too, until Gresini Honda rider Simoncelli produced a 1m34.075s on his last run to edge ahead.
But Stoner had more speed to come, and reclaimed first place on his next lap with a 1m33.815s.
The four factory-spec Hondas filled the top four positions, with the works-run bikes of Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa next up.
The best non-Honda was 1.1s off the pace in fifth, with Nicky Hayden taking that honour for Ducati right at the end.
Jorge Lorenzo's bid for a third straight French GP continues to look tough, with the Yamaha rider only sixth and his team-mate Ben Spies ninth in this session.
They were split by Ducati's Valentino Rossi and Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards, while the latter's team-mate Cal Crutchlow completed the top 10.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Casey Stoner Honda 1m33.815s 2. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m34.075s + 0.260s 3. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m34.244s + 0.429s 4. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m34.545s + 0.730s 5. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m34.954s + 1.139s 6. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m35.051s + 1.236s 7. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m35.280s + 1.465s 8. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m35.281s + 1.466s 9. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m35.302s + 1.487s 10. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m35.442s + 1.627s 11. Hiroshi Aoyama Gresini Honda 1m35.645s + 1.830s 12. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 1m35.799s + 1.984s 13. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m35.979s + 2.164s 14. Randy de Puniet Pramac Ducati 1m36.091s + 2.276s 15. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m36.268s + 2.453s 16. Loris Capirossi Pramac Ducati 1m36.370s + 2.555s 17. Toni Elias LCR Honda 1m36.467s + 2.652s