Losail (Qatar): Yamaha`s Jorge Lorenzo upstaged Honda`s world champion Casey Stoner on Friday by setting the pace under floodlights in final practice for MotoGP`s Qatar season-opener.
Australian Stoner was fastest on Thursday and again in Friday`s penultimate session but 2010 champion Lorenzo then found precious extra fractions to nudge him off the top of the timing screens.
The Spaniard ended the final session with a lap of one minute 55.302, 0.154 seconds ahead of British Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow with Stoner third quickest but blaming traffic for holding him up.
"The bike seems much better than last year for us," said Lorenzo, overall runner-up in 2011.
"I think we have even more potential for improvement tomorrow. We still have a few issues to solve, especially corner entry, but we manage to keep a good pace. I`m going to try my hardest for qualifying tomorrow and see what we can do."
Honda`s Dani Pedrosa fell in the day`s opening session but was unhurt and ended up fifth fastest.
Stoner has won four times in the last five years in Qatar, as well as taking four poles, and is clear favourite for Sunday`s race.
"A few people got in our way throughout the session so we were unable to show what we were really capable of but we know how we feel and we`re confident for qualifying tomorrow," said the double world champion, winner of 10 races last year.