Motorcycle Racing News Phillip Island MotoGP: Stoner Leads Friday

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

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

2021 MotoE World Cup Championship Series Schedule First Look

The 2021 FIM Enel MotoE World Cup Calendar is set—well, at least as set as anything can be in the era of COVID-19 government...

Klim Adventure GTX Boots Review: Target Audience Perfection

Although mic drop is a cliché these days, some situations and products deserve that accolade. The all-new Klim Adventure GTX boots check every boot...

Harley-Davidson Gift of Riding H-D Riding Academy Contest

There is no better gift in the world than turning a non-rider into a motorcyclist. Of course, it takes more than best wishes to...

2021 Suzuki 650 V-Twins: New Colors Sneak Peek First Look

It’s always interesting to check into Europe’s latest to see what might appear on dealer showroom floors in the United States. We look at...

2021 Honda Rebel 500 ABS SE First Look (5 Fast Facts)

After an upgrade last year, Honda has more plans for the now-midsize Rebel. There is now a 2021 Honda Rebel 500 ABS—an accessorized version...

Sena SRL2 Review: Bluetooth Communications for Select Shoei Helmets

The Shoei Neotec II is a sweet upgrade from the original Neotec, and it incorporates many improvements. Nic de Sena reviewed the Shoei Neotec...