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Stoner continues Phillip Island form with pole

Stoner continues Phillip Island form with pole

Casey Stoner will start the Iveco Australian Grand Prix on pole position for the second year running, after topping Saturday’s qualifying timesheet.

Ducati Marlboro rider Casey Stoner remains on course for a hat-trick of Phillip Island victories after securing pole position at his home circuit.

Having enjoyed wins in the past two seasons at the Australian track, Stoner’s best time of 1’30.341 on his Desmosedici GP9 was just 0.050s faster than nearest rival Valentino Rossi.

The battle with Rossi – who will take his place on the front row for the ninth consecutive race – throughout Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session was an engrossing affair, as the fastest time swapped hands towards the end of the session.

Dani Pedrosa survived a crash to secure third place, a 0.679s margin behind paceman Stoner, with a second bike, after his RC212V lost its nose going into Southern Loop, whilst Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo took fourth spot.

Lorenzo had third place snatched off him by the Repsol Honda rider by a thousandth of a second, thus depriving the Spaniard of a front-row start for the first time this season.

Making up the second row on Sunday will be Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards – just 0.025s off Lorenzo’s time – with Alex de Angelis following up impressive practice sessions with sixth place, despite an early spill in qualifying.

Stoner’s Ducati Marlboro team-mate Nicky Hayden, LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet, Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) and Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) all made the top ten as well.


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