Stoner continues to dominate in Australia
26 October 2012 – Casey Stoner has locked out the first day of MotoGP action in Australia, topping both Friday practice sessions at the start of his crucial home weekend. The outgoing Honda rider this time led Dani Pedrosa, which pushed Jorge Lorenzo down to third place.
Dominating the timesheets, Stoner led the way with his best lap of 1:29.999, again leading by almost a full second. The championship contenders remain locked together, with flu-suffering Cal Crutchlow moving up to fourth ahead of Tech 3 team-mate Andrea Dovizioso. Valentino Rossi is now the leading Ducati, moving up to eighth position.
In what was a chiefly uneventful session at Phillip Island - where Turn 3 has now been named after Stoner - Álvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl just missed the top five for Gresini and LCR Honda, with Randy de Puniet still leading the CRT runners in tenth place; he ended the day comfortably quicker than Aspar team-mate Aleix Espargaró. 20th and last was Kris McLaren, who replaces the injured Ben Spies at Yamaha.
For the rest of the weekend, it remains to been seen whether Honda can inflict maximum damage into Lorenzo’s lead before heading to the Valencia finale.
Practice 3 begins at 11:10am local time (BST +10) on Saturday