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Sat 19 Mar 2011 10:19 AM

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Aussie Stoner eyes record at Qatar's MotoGP event

Casey Stoner laps inside his own record as he dominates practice for the floodlit season-opener

Aussie Stoner eyes record at Qatar's MotoGP event
Australias Casey Stoner. (Getty Images)

Australian Casey Stoner lapped

inside his own record on Friday as he again dominated practice

for MotoGP's floodlit Qatar season-opener.

The 2007 world champion, who has switched from Ducati to

Honda and is chasing his fourth win in five years at the Losail

circuit, followed up his fastest time on Thursday by topping the

timesheets in both sessions a day later.

Stoner's quickest lap of one minute 55.035 seconds was 0.158

faster than Spanish team mate Dani Pedrosa in second place, with

Italian Andrea Dovizioso third in a 1-2-3 for the factory

Hondas.

Spain's world champion Jorge Lorenzo was fourth on his

Yamaha, ahead of American team mate Ben Spies, while Italian

Valentino Rossi was eighth on a Ducati with the circuit far

cleaner than the day before.

Stoner, winner in 2007, 2008 and 2009 in Qatar, said there

was much more to come from the Honda. The team have had the

fastest bike throughout pre-season testing.

"I haven't really found the limit with this Honda yet," he

said.

"I've not even tucked the front once, I've never pushed it

to any kind of limit so I've got no idea where it is yet. Maybe

it's still quite a way to go, maybe we're running where it wants

to be.

"At the moment I'm just happy running the pace I am and the

way I've got the bike set up."

Suzuki's sole rider Alvaro Bautista was ruled out of

Sunday's race after the Spaniard crashed and broke his left

thigh bone.

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