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GP Week : Issue 146
Casey Stoner retained his position at the top of the time sheets, preserving a perfect record for the three pre-season tests. But he waited until the last half hour of the third eight- hour day to do so, shading Jorge Lorenzo by 0.173 of a second. Why did he wait until the end? “I just wanted to be cheeky,” he grinned. His time of 1m38.780s was half-a -tenth short of his own pole, set almost a year ago on an 800cc machine. He declined to blame the new-generation Bridgestone tyres, however. “It’s just the conditions at the moment,” he said, adding: “This track is so tight, really frustrating to ride. There’s nowhere you can use the power really well: you only take sixth gear once, for a moment. Lorenzo was satisfied to have led most of the third and fastest day – “It shows we have a good bike.” Like Stoner, he thought he might have gone faster, but concentrating on set-ups he had run short of tyres. Dani Pedrosa was a close third on the second Yamaha; then second Yamaha rider Ben Spies. But the American was less than a tenth quicker than satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow, who continued his strong testing form. Rossi’s sixth put him better than a tenth clear of Andrea Dovizioso, still gaining familiarity with his new Yamaha. Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda) was ninth, then class rookie Stefan Bradl, with the Ducatis of Barbera and Abraham completing the works-bike dozen. The best of the new-generation CRT machines was Randy de Puniet’s Aspar ART, just 22 thousandths slower. But with his team-mate Aleix Espargaro next a full second slower, the production-based private bikes covered a wide range of times, with the slowest (the pair of Kawasaki-powered FTRs of Silva and Hernandez) four seconds off the pace. Six of the nine bikes set slower lap times than Corti’s class- leading 600cc Moto2 bikes, the half-dozen led by 17th-fastest Colin Edwards (Suter BMW). CHEEKY STONER TAKES JEREZ BRAGGING RIGHTS CRT bikes spread out behind works teams 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS