Stoner Domination Continues In Third Practice

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Casey Stoner completed a clean sweep of the three practice sessions at the British Grand Prix after seeing off the challenge of Marco Simoncelli on Saturday morning.

The Repsol Honda star cemented his status as the odds-on favourite for pole position with a lap of 2:03.487 which gave him 0.233s over Simoncelli, who simply couldn't match Stoner in the final sector of the 5.902km circuit.

Simoncelli's best lap came with just under ten minutes to go and saw him briefly hold the top spot but that would soon change when Stoner re-emerged from the pits for his final run.

The Honda pair were comfortably ahead of the field but they were followed by three Yamahas, with the factory riders Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo third and fourth. In the only dry session to take place yesterday, the team were a full second off the pace but Spies was under half a second shy in FP3 with Lorenzo just six tenths off, indicating that Yamaha might be able to challenge for pole position later today.

Cal Crutchlow continued his excellent weekend with fifth place on the Tech 3 Yamaha. The Briton was only 0.827s down on Stoner himself and a place on the front row could be a possibility for the home favourite.

Andrea Dovizioso was sixth meaning that the highest Ducati was only seventh, with Nicky Hayden again significantly quicker than Valentino Rossi. Despite having the edge in the Italian squad, Hayden will have been concerned to see the gap to the Hondas increase to 1.763s in FP3 after being much closer yesterday. Rossi's miserable weekend continued and he was an almost unthinkable 2.949s off the pace in 14th.

Behind Hayden, Hiroshi Aoyama finished in eighth after pulling out his quickest lap in the dying seconds while Alvaro Bautista took ninth for Rizla Suzuki. Colin Edwards performed yet more heroics to get the second Tech 3 Yamaha despite breaking his collarbone last weekend, the Texan was 2.102s behind Stoner but just over a second behind his fully fit teammate.

Randy de Puniet was 11th ahead of three more Ducatis with Karel Abraham and Hector Barbera both ahead of the struggling Rossi. Toni Elias was 15th while Loris Capirossi completed the field in 16th.

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