Casey Stoner Completes Qatar Practic Clean Sweep

Casey Stoner topped the third and final practice session at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar on Friday, continuing his dominance of the weekend to date having led both previous sessions. The Australian was fastest on Thursday and again in the earlier Friday session, rounding off the later 45-minute run with the best lap time of the weekend so far, an effort of 1'55.035.

It was an all-Repsol Honda top three on the timesheet, with Dani Pedrosa second and Italian Andrea Dovizioso third. The Spaniard was 0.158 off Stoner’s quickest lap, whilst Dovizioso was fractionally over seven-tenths off top position.

There was an improvement for the current World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) as he got the edge over his team-mate Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) and took fourth, with the top Ducati rider being Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar Team) in sixth. Ducati Team rider Valentino Rossi was eighth quickest, 1.271s off top spot and with Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) ahead of him in the timings. Pramac Racing pair Randy de Puniet and Loris Capirossi completed the top ten.

Álvaro Bautista crashed inside the final ten minutes of the practice, and the Rizla Suzuki rider was stretchered off. A broken left femur was later confirmed, ruling the Spaniard out of the season-opener and with a decision on whether he will be operated on in Qatar or flown back to Spain still to be made.

Listen to Casey Stoner's audio interview here

In the Moto2 class Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) was the fastest rider with a best lap of 2'00.882, leaving the German a sizeable 0.872s ahead of second-placed Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol), with Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) third in the session and the only other rider to get within a second of top spot.

Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing), Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) completed the top six in the session, with Takahashi and Redding remaining in the top three across the combined times from all sessions thanks to their times from FP2. Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2), Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing), Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) and Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) completed the FP3 top ten.

**125cc **
Nico Terol was fastest in the third and final 125 practice session as he improved his lap time once more to time in with a 2'06.957 and beat Efrén Vázquez (Avant AirAsia Ajo) to top spot by a clear 0.931s. German Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Germany) completed the top three, with Sergio Gadea (PEV-Blusens-SMX Paris Hilton) and Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) both inside the top five.

Miguel Oliveira (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica), Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar), Luis Salom (RW Racing GP), Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) and Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) set top-ten times in the final session before Saturday’s qualifying practice. The third day of the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar gets underway at 6pm local time on Saturday with the 125 qualifying practice, followed by the Moto2 and MotoGP classes.