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MotoGP Indy: Stoner leads into qualifying as Lorenzo struggles

Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner has scorched to the top of the final MotoGP free practice timesheet at Indianapolis, setting a string of laps in the 1'39s bracket while championship leader Jorge Lorenzo is more than a second slower than the Australian.

Stoner's quickest of 1'39.182 put him nearly two-tenths ahead of second-placed man and team-mate Dani Pedrosa while Ben Spies, on the factory Yamaha was a further two-tenths back on a 1'39.386. Rookie Stefan Bradl slipped from second to fourth on the LCR Honda but is the only other rider to dip under the 1'40 barrier.

A late lap from Andrea Dovizioso saw him push up to fifth place ahead of Alvaro Bautista in his customary sixth place while Lorenzo could only muster a 1'40.339 and that was less than a tenth faster than Valentino Rossi, with whom he will share the Yamaha garage next year.


Britain's Cal Crutchlow suffered a slow-speed tumble in the closing minutes but looks not to have aggravated the shoulder he bashed in yesterday's crash. His time of 1'40.402 was enough for ninth place ahead of the man he thought would be his team-mate next year, Nicky Hayden.

Aliex Espargaro leads the CRT charge in 11th and is a little over two seconds off the pace. He is being chased by Yonny Hernandez and Randy De Puniet in 12th and 13th respectively. James Ellison is 20th and Colin Edwards is 21st while wildcards Steve Rapp and Aaron Yates were both inside the 107 per cent qualifying time.

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