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Stoner Storms to Pole Position in Australia

Casey Stoner stormed to a commanding pole position for his home race at Phillip Island, after setting a lap time more than six tenths of a second faster than rival’s Jorge Lorenzo. The Australian, who is yet to be defeated on this circuit since 2007, will therefore gun for his 3rd win of the season and 4th consecutive success in front of a home crowd.

Stoner dominated the timing reports for most of the session, but scored an impressive time of 1:30.281 with less than 15 minutes remaining. That time alone would have secured him a comfortable pole position, as it was half of second faster than anyone on Saturday, yet the Ducati rider made a strong statement a few minutes later, improving his time to 1:30.107.

Shortly after his quickest lap was recorded, a slight drizzle started to come down on the Phillip Island circuit, making it impossible for anyone to make another attempt for pole. Under the circumstances, new MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo had to settle for 2nd place, ahead of Tech 3 Yamaha’s Ben Spies.

Marco Simoncelli, Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden will complete the second row of riders on Sunday, ahead of Randy de Puniet and Valentino Rossi.

The Motegi GP winner and 7-time MotoGP champion was frustrated at the end of the qualifying meeting, as he was blocked by Aleix Espargaro in his penultimate attempt to set a fastest time. Later on, the rain prevented him to improve his time, so he’ll start tomorrow’s race from 8th place, ahead of Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso and Marco Melandri.

At his return from his collarbone injury, Honda’s Dani Pedrosa qualified for the 15th place on the grid. Yet he managed to stay healthy through the duration of the Saturday running, unlike Aspar Ducati’s Hector Barbera (who crashed early on) and Hayden (late crash).
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