Stoner crashes but returns to go fastest in final MotoGP practice at Le Mans

Casey Stoner bounced back from a crash at the halfway stage to go fastest in MotoGP's final practice session at Le Mans

Stoner crashes but returns to go fastest in final MotoGP practice at Le Mans

The Australian lost the front of his Honda through the second part of the Turn 10 chicane. He was unhurt and able to return to the pits for his second bike, on which he then proceeded to pull clear in the final five minutes.

As was the case in second practice, the reigning champion ended as the only man to dip under the 1m34s mark, giving him an advantage of almost half a second at the head of the field.

Until his late charge, the session had been incredibly close with the top eight riders covered by less than six tenths of a second.

Cal Crutchlow eventually claimed second fastest, fractions ahead of his Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, Gresini's Alvaro Bautista, Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Ducati's Valentino Rossi all ended within 0.4s of the Tech 3 duo.

Hector Barbera's satellite Pramac Ducati beat Nicky Hayden's works counterpart to eighth, while Karel Abraham on the Cardion Ducati beat Yamaha's Ben Spies and LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl to 10th.

Aspar's Randy de Puniet occupied his seemingly customary position as top CRT rider in 13th.

The cold conditions which contributed to Stoner's fall also caught out Ioda's Danilo Petrucci and Speed Master's Mattia Pasini early on. Pasini was able to walk away from a heavy high side, but did not return to the track.

Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Casey Stoner Honda 1m33.945s 2. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m34.425s + 0.480s 3. Andrea Dovizioso Tech 3 Yamaha 1m34.429s + 0.484s 4. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m34.456s + 0.511s 5. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m34.471s + 0.526s 6. Daniel Pedrosa Honda 1m34.636s + 0.691s 7. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m34.757s + 0.812s 8. Hector Barbera Pramac Ducati 1m35.081s + 1.136s 9. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m35.261s + 1.316s 10. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 1m35.328s + 1.383s 11. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m35.423s + 1.478s 12. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m35.468s + 1.523s 13. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 1m36.389s + 2.444s 14. Michele Pirro Gresini FTR-Honda 1m36.666s + 2.721s 15. Yonni Hernandez Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m37.138s + 3.193s 16. Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Aprilia 1m37.666s + 3.721s 17. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 1m37.692s + 3.747s 18. James Ellison Forward Suter-BMW 1m37.940s + 3.995s 19. Ivan Silva Avintia Inmotec-Kawasaki 1m38.344s + 4.399s 20. Chris Vermeulen Forward Suter-BMW 1m39.507s + 5.562s 21. Mattia Pasini Speed Master Aprilia 1m46.663s + 12.718s 
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Series MotoGP
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Sam Tremayne
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