April 9, 2010 / 11:23 PM / 10 years ago

Motorcycling-Stoner dominates first practice for Qatar GP

DOHA, April 9 (Reuters) - Australian Casey Stoner dominated Friday’s free practice for MotoGP’s season-opening floodlit Qatar Grand Prix.

The Ducati rider, winner in the Gulf state for the past three years, was more than half a second quicker than Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo — the Yamaha rider still nursing an injured hand — with a best time of 1:55.500.

World champion Valentino Rossi was third fastest, a mere 0.002 slower than his team mate Lorenzo who crashed without further injury at the end of the session after lapping in 1:56.026.

“We’re quite happy with where we are at the moment but I believe everybody will catch up over the weekend, so we definitely need to stay on top of our game and try and improve our set-up a little more,” said Stoner.

Writing by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Ian Ransom; To query anything on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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