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MOTOGP NEWS 

Casey Stoner says traffic hid Honda's true potential in Qatar MotoGP practice

Casey Stoner, Honda, Qatar 2012Casey Stoner says he did not have a chance to show his and Honda's true pace in final practice in Qatar - but that despite being beaten by Jorge Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow's Yamahas in session three, he is getting happier and happier with his bike.

Reigning champion Stoner led the way in the first two practice sessions, before falling to third in Friday's final 45 minutes.

But the Australian said he had made good progress, and that his drop to third was mainly due to traffic problems.

"Today has been pretty good for us in general, we had some issues in the first two sessions but we've fixed them slightly in last one which is definitely positive," said Stoner.

"We've been able to turn down the electronics a lot more and now I have more feeling and connection with the rear tyre which gave me a lot more confidence. This allowed me to do some good lap times with some pretty old tyres.

"A few people got in our way throughout the session so we were unable to show what we were really capable of, but we know how we feel and we're confident for qualifying tomorrow."

Stoner's team-mate Dani Pedrosa crashed in Friday's first session and had to use his spare bike for final practice, when he was fifth quickest.

"The day wasn't as good for us as we would have liked," said Pedrosa. "I had some problems with the electronics and I couldn't ride at a hundred per cent, especially in the exits of the corners where we have more issues. Let's hope the mechanics can find a solution and we can have a good qualifying session tomorrow.

"The crash in the first session was totally unexpected; it was on my first lap of the second exit and I was not pushing at all. But I escaped unhurt and do it's OK."

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