Stoner dominates practice for Australian GP

Last Updated: Oct 14, 2011, 13:47 PM IST

Philip Island (Australia): Casey Stoner dominated both practice sessions Friday for the Australian GP as he chases his fifth straight win at his home race and a chance to clinch the 2011 MotoGP world championship.

The Australian recorded a best time of 1 minute, 30.475 seconds around the Philip Island track ahead of Yamaha`s Jorge Lorenzo in 1:30.744 in the first session.

Stoner failed to better his time in the afternoon session, but his 1:30.535 was enough to edge out Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli`s third overall quickest 1:30.912.

Simoncelli spilled his bike in each session, but was unhurt and able to ride back to the pits for minor repairs.

Stoner, whose 26th birthday coincides with Sunday`s race, can seal the MotoGP rider`s title with if he scores ten points more than Lorenzo. He said his chances of taking out the championship in front of his hometown crowd are "slim, almost impossible."

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi finished 13th overall with a best time of 1:32.014 on his Ducati.

In Moto2, Stefan Bradl of Viessmann Kiefer Racing set the fastest time with an aggressive lap of 1:34.039 in the first session.

JIR Moto2 rider Alex de Angelis was quickest in the afternoon with a second-fastest time of 1:34.466, ahead of Speed Master`s Andrea Iannone in 1:34.568.

Championship leader Marc Marquez, of Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol, crashed in the grass on his fourth lap of the day and was 17th overall.

In the 125cc class, Intact Racing Team Germany`s Sandro Cortese was fastest overall with an afternoon time of 1:38.530. Nicolas Terol of Bankia Aspar was second quickest for the day with 1:38.708, while Johann Zarco of Avant-AirAsia-Ajo was third in 1:39.104.

Bureau Report