Casey Stoner returned to the top of the timesheets in morning warm-up, offering indications that he will be able to challenge for victory later today.

The championship leader admitted after qualifying that he was unable to match the race pace of Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, who start either side of him on the front row, but didn't struggle at all on Sunday morning, clocking a 1:21.747.

Polesitter Lorenzo was second quickest, a quarter of a second behind, with Andrea Dovizioso third on an identical time. The Italian was on target to beat his Repsol Honda teammate with his final lap of the session but lost time behind Toni Elias in the final sector, costing him three tenths of a second.

Dovizioso's last gasp effort pushed Ben Spies down to fourth as the American instantly put his qualifying crash behind him. Spies was just 0.023s away from the pace of his Yamaha teammate which is as close as he has been all weekend.

Marco Simoncelli was close behind in fifth ahead of the two factory Ducatis who continued to show a much stronger pace than in recent races. Nicky Hayden led the session early on before dropping to sixth, with Valentino Rossi outpacing Dani Pedrosa for seventh.

Cal Crutchlow produced one his most impressive rides of the weekend to take ninth, just ahead of Alvaro Bautista, and once again in front of teammate Colin Edwards with the gap between the two almost two tenths of a second.

The major question mark heading into the session was the status of Randy de Puniet, who suffered fractured vertebrae in qualifying. The Pramac Racing man had hoped to ride in the warm-up to assess his condition but instead took the decision to withdraw from the rest of the weekend.

 

2011 Red Bull U.S Grand Prix: Warm-Up Result

Pos Rider Nat Bike Team Time/Gap
1 Casey Stoner AUS Honda Repsol Honda Team 1:21.747
2 Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha Yamaha Factory Racing +0.248
3 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Honda Repsol Honda Team +0.248
4 Ben Spies USA Yamaha Yamaha Factory Racing +0.271
5 Marco Simoncelli ITA Honda San Carlo Honda Gresini +0.394
6 Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Ducati Team +0.733
7 Valentino Rossi ITA Ducati Ducati Team +0.951
8 Dani Pedrosa SPA Honda Repsol Honda Team +0.971
9 Cal Crutchlow GBR Yamaha Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +1.316
10 Alvaro Bautista SPA Suzuki Rizla Suzuki MotoGP +1.405
11 Colin Edwards USA Yamaha Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +1.497
12 Karel Abraham CZE Ducati Cardion AB Motoracing +1.925
13 Hector Barbera SPA Ducati Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP +1.944
14 Hiroshi Aoyama JAP Honda San Carlo Honda Gresini +2.209
15 Toni Elias SPA Honda LCR Honda MotoGP +2.589
16 Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Pramac Racing Team +3.148
17 Ben Bostrom (WC) USA Honda LCR Honda MotoGP +4.354
18 Randy de Puniet FRA Ducati Pramac Racing Team No Time