Stoner surprised by such rapid pace
26 October 2012 – Casey Stoner obliterated the rest of the MotoGP field as free practice began at Phillip Island on Friday. Ahead of his final home race before moving into retirement, the Champion was almost a full second quicker in both the morning and afternoon periods.
“It was a very positive first day, we were pretty quick to get on the pace,” he reported, having headed Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in the first session and Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa later on. “To be honest, I didn't expect to achieve the lap times we did. With the extra horsepower we have this year, it's a little easier to get around this place quickly!”
On Thursday, Turn 3 was named after Stoner, who is aiming to preserve a record which has seen him win every Australian Grand Prix staged since 2007.
“The times we were able to do in the first session were pretty good, but I thought everybody would improve a lot more in the second session,” he continued.
“But we were able to go quite a lot faster than everybody, with almost race distance on our Soft tyres, and then we put the Hard tyre on and were able to improve again; this is very positive at this stage of the weekend but we'll have to wait for tomorrow and Sunday to see where everyone else is.
“My ankle is in a lot worse condition than in Motegi but, coming here, there are a lot less right-hand corners - it's nice to take a bit of weight off it.”
Saturday’s final practice begins at 11:10am local time (BST +10).