Stoner leads Honda 1-2 in Qatar warm-up

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Casey Stoner and Honda climbed back to the top of the timesheets during warm-up for the season-opening Qatar night race.

Second on the grid Stoner, winner at Qatar for four of the last five years, will have been trying last-minute chatter solutions ahead of the race after going 'full circle' with the vibration issue during practice and qualifying.

The Australian held the top spot for the majority of the 20-minute session, which he finished 0.076sec in front of Repsol team-mate Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa will start seventh after also suffering a problematic qualifying.

Pole sitter Jorge Lorenzo led the Yamaha challenge with third place, 0.327sec from Stoner, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mates Andrea Dovizioso and front row qualifier Cal Crutchlow following the Spaniard on the timesheets.

Fifth in the grid Nicky Hayden was again the top Ducati, in sixth (+0.776sec), but with Pramac's Hector Barbera just 0.008sec slower.

Rookie Stefan Bradl was eighth for LCR Honda, having been forced to take evasive action to avoid a sliding Alvaro Bautista mid-way through the session. New Gresini rider Bautista, lacking front-end confidence after qualifying, made a mess of his RC213V in the sudden lowside fall.

Ducati's Valentino Rossi, twelfth and worst of the manufacturer bikes in qualifying, was ninth and 1.1sec from Stoner this evening, with Lorenzo's team-mate Ben Spies - who has fallen twice this weekend - just tenth.

Fellow Texan Colin Edwards retained his position as the top CRT rider heading into the first race for the new privateer class. The Forward Racing star lapped 2.4sec from Stoner and 0.4sec from Aspar rival Randy de Puniet for 13th place.


1. Casey Stoner
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Andrea Dovizioso
5. Cal Crutchlow
6. Nicky Hayden
7. Hector Barbera
8. Stefan Bradl
9. Valentino Rossi
10. Ben Spies
11. Karel Abraham
12. Alvaro Bautista
13. Colin Edwards
14. Randy De Puniet
15. Michele Pirro
16. Yonny Hernandez
17. Aleix Espargaro
18. Mattia Pasini
19. Ivan Silva
20. James Ellison
21. Danilo Petrucci
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