Casey Stoner finally ended Valentino Rossi's dominance of winter testing by beating the champion on the last night of preseason running in Qatar.
Rossi had previously been quickest on all five test days held in 2010 so far, but this evening at Losail his Ducati rival set a best time of 1m55.353sec. That beat the Yamaha rider by half a second today, and was just under a tenth of a second quicker than Rossi had managed when leading the way on Thursday. Stoner had a crash during the session, but escaped unhurt.
Honda took a step forward with Andrea Dovizioso in third place, although his teammate Dani Pedrosa was back in 13th. Dovizioso was just ahead of Stoner's Ducati teammate Nicky Hayden – another man to have a minor crash tonight, along with both Tech 3 Yamaha riders and the Gresini Honda duo.
Loris Capirossi brought Suzuki back into contention in fifth, while Jorge Lorenzo continued to follow a conservative program while recovering from his recent hand injury. The Yamaha rider completed the top six.
Ben Spies was only 10th this evening for Tech 3, but was still the top MotoGP newcomer in the session – and the time that had given him third on Thursday stood as the fourth fastest of the week.
The teams now have a three week break before the 2010 season commences in Qatar.
Pos Rider Bike Time Gap Laps
1. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m55.353s 51
2. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m55.860s + 0.507s 57
3. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m55.879s + 0.526s 66
4. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m56.115s + 0.762s 51
5. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m56.195s + 0.842s 58
6. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m56.504s + 1.151s 44
7. Randy De Puniet LCR Honda 1m56.504s + 1.151s 66
8. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m56.722s + 1.369s 48
9. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m56.767s + 1.414s 74
10. Ben Spies Tech 3 Yamaha 1m56.779s + 1.426s 44
11. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati 1m56.897s + 1.544s 64
12. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m56.898s + 1.545s 71
13. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m56.935s + 1.582s 56
14. Marco Melandri Gresini Honda 1m57.222s + 1.869s 64
15. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m57.223s + 1.870s 74
16. Hiroshi Aoyama Interwetten Honda 1m57.251s + 1.898s 81
17. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m57.379s + 2.026s 56