The Repsol Honda rider pounced in the closing stages to outpace Jorge Lorenzo after the Spaniard led the way for the majority of the 45 minute session. The duo were in a class of their own with satalite Yamaha rider Andrea Dovizioso over 0.6s adrift of the fastest time.
Even so it was another encouraging session for the Tech 3 rider as he readjusts to life outside of a factory squad for the first time in three years. His teammate, Cal Crutchlow, again had a solid showing with the Englishman rising as high as second midway through the session before finishing with the eighth fastest time.
Ben Spies was fourth fastest with the Texan once again outpaced by Lorenzo. He did however look comfortable on the bike and with the track surface still dusty and dirty there was little to be gained from pushing beyond the limits of the track.
Hector Barbera was fifth fastest with the Pramac Ducati rider setting the pace amongst theBolognamanufacturers bikes. Barbera benefited from a Dani Pedrosa crash to end the session in such a lofty position but it is still encouraging to see him showing well at this early stage of the season.
Pedrosa crashed midway through the session but rejoined later on to set the sixth fastest time ahead of Crutchlow, Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl with Valentino Rossi rounding out the top ten runners.
Colin Edwards set the pace amongst the CRT runners with a comfortable 0.15s margin in hand over Randy de Puniet. The pair were once more comfortably faster than their rivals with Yonny Hernandez almost a full second slower.
The Columbian’s FTR looked to be a handful for much of the session and constantly looked to be on the verge of crashing. Unless his team can find a solution there is little chance of him matching his 15th position come the end of the race.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Casey Stoner Honda 1m55.960s
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m56.174s + 0.214s
3. Andrea Dovizioso Tech 3 Yamaha 1m56.648s + 0.688s
4. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m56.671s + 0.711s
5. Hector Barbera Pramac Ducati 1m56.678s + 0.718s
6. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m56.697s + 0.737s
7. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m56.782s + 0.822s
8. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m56.814s + 0.854s
9. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m57.197s + 1.237s
10. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m57.274s + 1.314s
11. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 1m57.523s + 1.563s
12. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m57.668s + 1.708s
13. Colin Edwards Forward Suter-BMW 1m58.801s + 2.841s
14. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 1m58.945s + 2.985s
15. Yonny Hernandez Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m59.698s + 3.738s
16. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 1m59.997s + 4.037s
17. Michele Pirro Gresini FTR-Honda 2m00.231s + 4.271s
18. Mattia Pasini Speed Master Aprilia 2m00.373s + 4.413s
19. Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Aprilia 2m00.404s + 4.444s
20. Ivan Silva Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 2m00.787s + 4.827s
21. James Ellison Paul Bird Aprilia 2m02.112s + 6.152s