Repsol Honda benefit in FP3

Casey Stoner once again was fastest in practice in Qatar but he had a much tougher fight on his hands from Dani Pedrosa in the final free practice session.

Pedrosa led the times for much of the session but with only minutes remaining Stoner jumped to the top of the timing screens by 0.158s with a near perfect lap. The Australian, in his first race for the factory Honda squad, has looked superb all weekend but this was the first time that he had stiff competition from his teammate. Pedrosa looked much improved in this session and was able to ride the RCV212 much more aggressively.

With Andrea Dovizioso finding his form and setting the third fastest time it was a Repsol Honda affair at the front with Jorge Lorenzo, Ben Spies and Hector Barbera rounding out the top six. Barbera was once again the leading Ducati with factory riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden eighth and 14th respectively.

Colin Edwards continued to show encouraging signs to end the day just a fraction of a second adrift of Barbera. The Texan has looked confident all weekend and is riding beautifully for Tech 3.

The session was marred by Alvaro Bautista suffering a sizeable accident with ten minutes remaining. The Suzuki rider crashed at the penultimate corner but was unable to stand after the accident and needed medical attention after clutching his left leg. The Spaniard ended the session 16th just ahead of compatriot Toni Elias who continues to struggle aboard his Honda.

For full results from this session click here

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