Casey Stoner sets the pace in practice to boost title chances

Casey Stoner has won at Phillip Island for the last four years for Ducati
Casey Stoner has won at Phillip Island for the last four years for Ducati

World Championship leader Casey Stoner remains on course to win the MotoGP championship for a second time after setting the fastest time in practice.

Racing on his home track at Phillip Island, the Australian overcame a crash in the first session to record a best lap time of one minute 30.535 seconds.

Stoner needs 10 more points than Jorge Lorenzo to add to his maiden world title victory in 2007.

Lorenzo finished third in practice, behind Italian Marco Simoncelli.

Earlier this week, Repsol Honda rider Stoner rated his hopes of wrapping up the title on home soil as "very slim" but he gave himself the best possible chance with another scintillating performance.

Despite topping the times, however, the 25-year-old admitted he was far from happy with the set-up of his bike heading into the weekend.

Stoner said: "I didn't feel totally comfortable with the bike today and I'm sure we can improve it a lot.

"The track is certainly a lot more bumpy than last year and I think it will be very difficult to get the bike feeling 100% as the circuit is making things worse.

"There is still a lot of work before we find the right race set-up and we know we can go a lot faster."

Should Stoner fail to complete the title victory Down Under, there are two more races left in Malaysia on 23 October and Valencia on 6 November.

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