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First pole of 2008 surprises Stoner

First pole of 2008 surprises Stoner

World Champion Casey Stoner admitted he was surprised to snatch a first 2008 pole position right at the end of an exciting Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya qualifying session.

Casey Stoner wrapped up qualifying at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday at the head of the MotoGP grid after a perfect lap on his third and final qualifying tyre, before admitting to that he had not expected such a result.

The Australian had shown good form on his first two Bridgestone qualifiers before an outstanding lap saw him smash the previous pole record by over six tenths of a second.

After a mixed bag so far this weekend uncertain weather forecasts could make for an unpredictable race day, but the Ducati Marlboro star is confident of his chances after finding a different set-up on each of his Desmosedici GP8 machines, both of which proved competitive on Saturday.

`It was a little bit unexpected,´ commented Stoner. `We thought we could have a reasonable qualifying practice today, but even going onto my last qualifying tyre I thought we would be lucky to get on the front row here. Then I just managed to put a nice clean lap together and everything worked out, but it definitely wasn´t expected and we´re quite happy.´

`The race set-up we have been working on all weekend and it´s getting better and better in each session,´ continued the MotoGP title holder, who won at Barcelona last year. `Now we have reached a point where we think that we are a little bit quicker than the other riders maybe, but tomorrow the conditions could change, anything could change and we will just have to see what happens.´

Meanwhile, Ducati MotoGP boss Livio Suppo added, `We are super happy and I think Casey did an unbelievable job. Bridgestone´s race tyres are very good, but on qualifying I think we still have to work. He was 1.2s quicker than the second Bridgestone rider in qualifying which is incredible and I think only Casey can do that!´


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