PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia – It was Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner who showed himself as the man to beat during the first day of practice for the MotoGP AirAsia Australian Grand Prix at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Friday.
Stoner set the best lap time during the first practice of 1:30.374, with teammate Dani Pedrosa in second.
In practice two, Stoner’s time of 1.29.999 was over eight tenths ahead of Pedrosa and faster than the circuit record set by Nicky Hayden in 2008.
Jorge Lorenzo, who could clinch the world title on Sunday, occupied third spot on the timesheets in both practice sessions, albeit over a second off the top time set by Stoner.
“It was a very positive first day, we were pretty quick to get on the pace and to be honest I didn’t expect to achieve the lap times we did,” Stoner said. “With the extra horse power we have this year it’s a little easier to get around this place quickly. The times we were able to do in the first session were pretty good but I thought everybody would improve a lot more in the second session but we were able to go quite a lot faster than everybody with almost race distance on our soft tyres and then we put the hard tyre on and were able to improve again.”