DOHA  - World champion Casey Stoner set a second consecutive fastest time in free practice for the Grand Prix of Qatar on Friday, hammering home his status as favourite for Sunday's floodlit season-opener.

The Australian Honda rider was 0.214sec faster than Spain's Yamaha star Jorge Lorenzo and 0.688sec quicker than Italy's Andrea Dovizioso, also on a Yamaha.

Stoner, who has won four times in the elite class in six visits to the Losail circuit, was unruffled by the high winds which greeted the 45-minute session as he clocked a best time of 1min 55.960, the only rider under the 1min 56sec mark.

Less than 0.2secs separated the next five riders -- Ben Spies (Yamaha), Hector Barbera (Ducati), Dani Pedrosa (Honda), Nicky Hayden (Ducati) and Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha).

Pedrosa's time was particularly impressive after he had crashed on turn nine at the 15-minute mark.

Seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi was only 10th fastest for the second successive day on his under-performing Ducati, 1.314sec off Stoner's pace.

The Italian was even outshone by German MotoGP rookie Stefan Bradl, who was ninth on his Honda.

The bikes will be back on track later Friday for the third and final practice session, prior to Saturday's qualifying.

MotoGP second practice times:

1. Casey Stoner (AUS/Honda) 1:55.960, 2. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) at 0.214, 3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Yamaha) 0.688, 4. Ben Spies (USA/Yamaha) 0.711, 5. Hector Barbera (ESP/Ducati) 0.718, 6. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 0.737, 7. Nicky Hayden (USA/Ducati) 0.822, 8. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Yamaha) 0.854, 9. Stefan Bradl (GER/Honda) 1.237, 10. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Ducati) 1.314

11. Karel Abraham (CZE/Ducati) 1.563, 12. Alvaro Bautista (ESP/Honda) 1.708, 13. Colin Edwards (USA/Suter-BMW) 2.841, 14. Randy de Puniet (FRA/Aprilia) 2.985, 15. Yonny Hernandez (COL/Kawasaki-FTR) 3.738