Casey Stoner continued to drop lap times at Qatar during Free Practice 3, with his Repsol rival Pedrosa closed the gap.
Casey Stoner continued to set the pace at Qatar, with the Australian turning a timesheet-leading 1’55.035 lap during Free Practice 3. Once again Stoner’s closest rival was teammate Dani Pedrosa, with Andrea Dovizioso delivering the dominating Repsol crew a sweep of the provisional MotoGP front row. Also notable in FP3 was a late-session high-side by Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista, with the Spaniard ruled out of the GP opener with a confirmed femur fracture in his left leg.
Stoner’s name atop the sheet is nothing new. Neither is Pedrosa’s methodical closing of the leader’s gap. The two front-running Repsols have been 1-2 all week, but the 0.6 second gap between them on Thursday has dropped to less than two-tenths today. Pedrosa also holds the fastest split time on the final section of the Losail circuit. As for Dovizioso, the Italian’s third-fastest result came on the flying lap, just nicking the defending champion Lorenzo on the combined timesheets. Dovizioso, however, is still more than a half-second behind the front-running duo.
Following the factory Honda trio were the factory Yamahas, Lorenzo less than two-tenths ahead of his American teammate Ben Spies, and Tech 3 satellite rider Colin Edwards. Spies was third-fastest after FP2, but after shaving just a tenth off his lap now finds himself in fifth and almost a full second behind Stoner.
Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera once again surprised as the fastest Ducati on the track. The Spaniard bested Valentino Rossi by less than a tenth. The Doctor was followed by satellite Ducati rider Randy de Puniet in ninth. Gresini Honda’s Marco Simoncelli rounded out the top 10 on the combined sheets by virtue of his FP2 time, as the frizzy-haired Italian went backwards in FP3.
Rizla Suzuki states Bautista has been transported to the hospital in Doha, where it will be determined if the lone Suzuki rider will undergo an operation there or in his native Spain.
2011 MotoGP Qatar Free Practice 2 Combined Results:
1. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1’55.035
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’55.193
Valentino Rossi for the second time during practice finishes as the second-fastest Ducati behind Hector Barbera.
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’55.740
4. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’55.814
5. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’56.003
6. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’56.259
7. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’56.266
8. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1’56.306
9. Randy de Puniet (Ducati) 1’56.362
10. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’56.378
11. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 1’56.434
12. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’56.437
13. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’56.517
14. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’56.586
15. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1’56.833
16. Karel Abraham (Ducati) 1’57.275
17. Toni Elias (Honda) 1’58.123
Veissman Kiefer Racing’s Stefan Bradl turned the fastest lap of the Moto2 class as practice wrapped up in Qatar. The German was well ahead of the Moto2 mob, nearly a full second (0.872) up on his nearest rival Marc Marquez (CatalunyaCaixa Repsol). Following Marquez was fellow Suter-chassis rider Andrea Iannone (Speed Master). Yesterday’s fastest, Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) was fourth-fastest followed by Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar). Thursday’s runner-up to Takahashi, Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) was sixth on the combined practice timesheet. The Moto2 class will run a 45-minute qualifying session and 20-minute warmup on Saturday.
2011 Moto2 Qatar Free Practice 3 Combined Times:
1. Stefan Bradl (Kalex) 2’00.882
2. Marc Marquez (Suter) 2’01.754
3. Andrea Iannone (Suter) 2’01.784
4. Yuki Takahashi (Moriwaki) 2’01.888
5. Julian Simon (Suter) 2’02.005
6. Scott Redding (Suter) 2’02.049
7. Thomas Luthi (Suter) 2’02.099
8. Jules Cluzel (Suter) 2’02.109
9. Simone Corsi (FTR) 2’02.295
10. Alex de Angelis (Motobi) 2’02.301