Published: Saturday October 27, 2012 MYT 10:34:00 AM
Updated: Saturday October 27, 2012 MYT 4:52:53 PM
Motorcycling: Stoner dominates practice ahead of qualifying
PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia: Casey Stoner again led the way as he clocked the fastest lap time in third practice ahead of Saturday's qualifying for the Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island.
The home hero on a Repsol Honda posted a best lap time of one minute 29.665seconds. Also quickest in both sessions on Friday, he is the only rider to go under 1min30sec ahead of Sunday's race.
Stoner, who is chasing a sixth consecutive Australian MotoGP victory this weekend in his farewell season, was 1.019sec quicker than world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo.
The Aussie rider Stoner was 1.3sec faster than his Honda teammate and championship contender Dani Pedrosa, indicating his mastery of the Phillip Island circuit.
Lorenzo leads Pedrosa by 23 points in the championship and can take his second MotoGP world title with victory on Sunday.
Stoner is battling the effects of recent surgery on torn ligaments and fractures to his ankle, tibia and fibula he suffered in a crash during qualifying for the Indianapolis MotoGP in mid-August.
The Aussie's hopes of defending his world title were ruined by the track mishap and he is out of contention, well back in third spot on the championship standings with two races left this season.
Yamaha's British rider Cal Crutchlow was fourth fastest ahead of teammate Andrea Dovizioso, but nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi was struggling in ninth spot, some 2.3secs behind Stoner.
Qualifying for grid position takes place later Saturday. - AFP