Stoner edges Pedrosa in final practice

Casey Stoner topped the times in a rain-affected Saturday practice session for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, just edging out Dani Pedrosa for the top spot

Stoner edges Pedrosa in final practice

Stoner headed the times early in the session, but just over 20 minutes into the one-hour session Pedrosa went to the top of the times at the end of a run of quick lap times.

Five minutes later, Stoner returned the favour to go back to the top of the times with a 1:30.626, 48 thousandths of a second faster than Pedrosa's effort.

And that was how it stayed, as rain in the second half of the session prevented fast times from any of the riders.

Championship leader Valentino Rossi was the only other rider close to Stoner and Pedrosa, about a quarter of a second behind them.

His team-mate and championship rival Jorge Lorenzo was next fastest, but half a second slower than Rossi and eight-tenths slower than the session's fastest time.

Alex de Angelis was again best of the rest on his Gresini Honda, just over a second off the pace, with Mika Kallio next fastest on his Pramac Ducati, his team-mate Niccolo Canepa not taking part after his heavy crash at Doohan corner in yesterday's session.

After a promising start to the weekend, both Tech 3 Yamaha riders struggled to set fast times today, James Toseland 2.2 seconds down in 12th while Colin Edwards ended the session nearly three seconds off Stoner in 16th and last position.

Pos Rider Bike Time Gap 1. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m30.626s 2. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m30.674s + 0.048s 3. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m30.901s + 0.275s 4. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m31.427s + 0.801s 5. Alex de Angelis Gresini Honda 1m31.707s + 1.081s 6. Mika Kallio Prama Ducati 1m31.969s + 1.343s 7. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m32.176s + 1.550s 8. Toni Elias Gresini Honda 1m32.185s + 1.559s 9. Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki 1m32.303s + 1.677s 10. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m32.403s + 1.777s 11. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m32.443s + 1.817s 12. James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha 1m32.905s + 2.279s 13. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 1m33.017s + 2.391s 14. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m33.261s + 2.635s 15. Gabor Talmacsi Scot Honda 1m33.471s + 2.845s 16. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m33.591s + 2.965s 
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