Casey Stoner set a searing pace to edge Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa and top the third and final MotoGP practice session at Indianapolis.
In contrast to Friday, when the Australian was hampered by bike issues, he was quickly into his stride and within the opening six minutes had already gone faster than anyone else all weekend. In the closing minutes his position came under threat from Pedrosa, however, as the Spaniard – fastest in second practice – got down to a 1m39.369s. Stoner's response was immediate, the reigning champion shaving a further two tenths off that benchmark to end the session on top.
In what was a good session for Honda riders, Yamaha's Ben Spies was the only other factory rider able to get close to the front pair, his best effort, set in the closing stages, just 0.017sec shy of Pedrosa.
Stefan Bradl on the LCR satellite Honda ended the session in fourth, having run as high as second in an impressive display.
Tech 3 Yamaha's Andrea Dovizioso meanwhile prevented Honda from locking out four of the top five positions as he denied Gresini's Alvaro Bautista for fifth late in the session. The Italian was the last rider to get within one second of Stoner. Jorge Lorenzo, the points leader heading into Indianapolis, was seventh fastest but more than 1.1sec down on his Honda rivals.
Ducati's Valentino Rossi was not far behind in eighth, while the second Tech 3 Yamaha of Cal Crutchlow and Rossi's teammate Nicky Hayden rounded out the top 10. Crutchlow suffered a fall at Turn 4 in the final two minutes, but was unharmed.
Of the CRT riders, there were impressive performances from Aspar's Aleix Espargaro and Avintia's Yonny Hernandez, who finished just over two seconds down on Stoner in 11th and 12th respectively.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Casey Stoner Honda 1m39.182s
2. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m39.369s + 0.187s
3. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m39.386s + 0.204s
4. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m39.681s + 0.499s
5. Andrea Dovizioso Tech 3 Yamaha 1m40.018s + 0.836s
6. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m40.206s + 1.024s
7. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m40.339s + 1.157s
8. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m40.348s + 1.166s
9. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m40.402s + 1.220s
10. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m40.513s + 1.331s
11. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 1m41.455s + 2.273s
12. Yonny Hernandez Avintia BQR-Kawasaki 1m41.473s + 2.291s
13. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 1m41.706s + 2.524s
14. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 1m41.724s + 2.542s
15. Mattia Pasini Speed Master Aprilia 1m41.748s + 2.566s
16. Toni Elias Pramac Ducati 1m42.363s + 3.181s
17. Michele Pirro Gresini FTR-Honda 1m42.892s + 3.710s
18. Ivan Silva Avintia Inmotec-Kawasaki 1m42.946s + 3.764s
19. Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Aprilia 1m42.982s + 3.800s
20. James Ellison Paul Bird Aprilia 1m43.320s + 4.138s
21. Colin Edwards Forward Suter-BMW 1m43.341s + 4.159s
22. Steve Rapp Attack-Kawasaki 1m44.179s + 4.997s
23. Aaron Yates GP Tech BCL-Suzuki 1m45.474s + 6.292s