Motorcycling: Stoner dominant after record run

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The Independent Online

The Australian Casey Stoner lapped inside his own record as he again dominated practice for MotoGP's floodlit season-opener in Qatar tomorrow.

The 2007 world champion, who has switched from Ducati to Honda and is chasing his fourth win in five years at Losail, topped the timesheets in both sessions yesterday.

Stoner's quickest lap of 1min 55.035sec was 0.158sec faster than Spanish team-mate Dani Pedrosa, with the Italian Andrea Dovizioso third in a 1-2-3 for the factory Hondas.

Spain's world champion Jorge Lorenzo was fourth on his Yamaha, ahead of team-mate Ben Spies, while Valentino Rossi was eighth on the works Ducati.

Stoner said there was much more to come from the bike. "I haven't really found the limit with this Honda yet," he said. "I've never pushed it to any kind of limit so I've got no idea where it is yet."

British rider Cal Crutchlow ended the evening in 11th as he prepares for his MotoGP debut on his Tech3 Yamaha.