Published Friday, 14 September 2012
Co Antrim racer Jonathan Rea, pictured at Misano. (© Getty)
Reigning champion Stoner is still recovering after surgery on a serious ankle injury and Rea is taking his place at both Misano and Aragon.
The Honda rider ended up fifth quickest, nearly three seconds off the pace - but the weather, which was never quite dry enough for slicks and never quite wet enough for full wets, limited the field.
Factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo and factory Honda rival Dani Pedrosa didn't even turn a wheel.
Just nine riders posted a time in the first practice session and eleven made it out in the second.
Rea won't be too concerned though, after recently taking part in the tests at Brno and Aragon to get used to the bike and having previously won at Misano in the World Superbikes.
The forecast for the weekend threatens rain for qualifying tomorrow, but with the race almost certain to be run in dry, sunny conditions.