Phillip Island MotoGP: Stoner Leads Friday

2011 MotoGP

The current points leader who can clinch the 2011 MotoGP Championship this weekend at Phillip Island, Casey Stoner, was the quickest Friday morning.

The Repsol Honda rider posted a lap of 1:30.475, which was three-tenths of a second faster than his main rival, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo. Stoner had a crash in the first free practice, but was unharmed.

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: "I don’t feel totally comfortable with the bike today and I’m sure we can improve the bike a lot. The track is certainly a lot more bumpy than last year and I think it will be very difficult to get the bike feeling 100% as the circuit is making things worse.

"In general we’ve found the Honda is better in certain aspects than what we had last year but with these bumps it’s difficult to compare in other areas. We need to get the bike riding the bumps in the front a lot better, and also find some more rear grip. There is still a lot of work before we find the right race set up and we know we can go a lot faster."

Third quickest overall behind Lorenzo was San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Marco Simoncelli, who posted a 1:30.912. The Italian also had a crash in the morning session, but was unharmed.

The fourth- and fifth-fastest riders were the former teammates Colin Edwards and Ben Spies, both of Texas. Edwards posted a 1:31.480 aboard the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, and Spies a 1:31.495 aboard the Yamaha Factory Racing M1.

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) took sixth fastest on Friday, with his teammate Dani Pedrosa seventh with a lap of 1:31.543. Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) ranked eighth Friday, with Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) following the Japanese rider by 0.080 of a second to place ninth.

MotoGP says Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) took the 10th spot ahead of Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), while Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) lingered in 13th, a second and a half behind leading man Stoner. Home rider Damien Cudlin, who is replacing an injured Hector Barbera for the Mapfre Aspar Ducati team, paced one second behind Toni Elías on the LCR Honda in 16th