Casey Stoner - Photo Credit:

Casey Stoner - Photo Credit:


Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo resumed their battle for supremacy on Friday evening in the second free practice session for the Qatar Grand Prix. The Yamaha rider led for the majority of the session but Stoner stormed to the top of the timesheets four minutes from the end, taking two tenths of a second off Lorenzo's time.

Repsol Honda's evening got off to the worst possible start when Dani Pedrosa crashed on his first run. The Spaniard slid off at the high speed turn nine but walked away uninjured, enabling him to re-join the fray on his spare bike later on.

At this point, Lorenzo was comfortably quickest with a 1:56.317 and on his final venture onto the race track, Jorge improved again to clock a 1:56.174. A few seconds behind, Stoner was on the march and became the first rider to break into the 1:55s this weekend.

This upset what looked like being a Yamaha whitewash with Andrea Dovizioso demoted to third and Ben Spies to fourth. Cal Crutchlow also featured in the top three early on but late improvements pushed him back to eighth. The men to sneak in front of him where Hector Barbera was the quickest of the Ducatis, Pedrosa who made up for lost time, and Nicky Hayden who once again outpaced his teammate Valentino Rossi.

Stefan Bradl was an outstanding ninth for LCR Honda ahead of Rossi and half a second clear of Alvaro Bautista on the other satellite RC213V. The Gresini rider was 12th behind the second customer Ducati of Karel Abraham.

The honours amongst the CRT riders went to Colin Edwards on the Suter BMW, 0.144s quicker than Randy de Puniet on the Aspar ART bike. James Ellison brought up the rear once again but managed to chop over a second off his Thursday time.