Just like yesterday, Casey Stoner swept up on day two of practice for the Australian GP. At his home race, with the fans out in force to cheer him on, the Repsol rider led both sessions today, taking pole on the grid ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. With typical ambition, the reigning World Champion set the pace in the third Free Practice session. From his 19 laps he set a time of 1’29.665, over a second ahead of second placed Jorge Lorenzo and 1.3 seconds ahead of Dani Pedrosa in third.
Not even a crash at the beginning of qualifying, with the tyres on his Honda RC213V losing grip at Turn 4, would halt his progress. Six minutes later he was back on track on the second bike, again bettering his time. Stoner’s best lap was a 1’29.623, half a second faster than Lorenzo and 0.952 ahead of Pedrosa, who will take off from third.
Five times 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan, who won four of his titles with Repsol, undertook a series of demonstration laps today with the Repsol Honda RC213V at Phillip Island. The Australian hero will repeat the feat tomorrow, and was today cheered on by the fans in recognition of one of the greatest riders of all time.
FP3 – 1:30.981, 22 laps, 98 km.
QP – 1:30.575, 25 laps, 111 km.
“I was trying some different things on the bike to get a little more comfortable, but they didn’t work out very well for the middle of the session. On my first soft rear tyre I couldn’t improve and then on my last run I was going quicker on the first lap and rain arrived. Anyway to be on the front row again is very good and I think we found a good bike setting for tomorrow’s race. Casey [Stoner] is unreachable, he’s on another level and doing an amazing job this weekend, but my pace is quite similar to Jorge’s, so I hope to be at least constant for the fight with him”.
FP3 – 1:29.665, 19 laps, 85 km.
QP- 1:29.623, 22 laps, 98 km.
“It’s been a good progression over these past few races and it’s great to get pole for my home grand prix. The bike has been good since Friday and I’m feeling comfortable on it again. It wasn’t an easy session this afternoon, we went out on a hard tyre and on my out lap, as I was peeling into the Honda turn, the bike decided to flip me. I tried to make sure I kept my leg out of the way as I came off, fortunately it didn’t get caught up. My left hip is hurting a little as I landed on it but hopefully we shouldn’t have any issues with it tomorrow.
The bike feels pretty good for race pace, we would have liked to have done some more work in this afternoon’s session but we lost time after the crash. A big thanks to all the fans for coming out and putting up with this weather, hopefully we can turn this pole into a win tomorrow!”.
MotoGP Philip Island Free practice 3
- Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team 1:29.665
- Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1:30.864
- Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 1:30.981
- Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 1:31.197
- Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 1:31.438
MotoGP Philip Qualifying practice times
- Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team 1:29.623
- Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1:30.140
- Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 1:30.575
- Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 1:30.763
- Stefan Bradl Honda 1:30.798