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Stoner storms to pole in Jerez

Stoner storms to pole in Jerez

The Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner took his second pole of the 2011 MotoGP season for the Gran Premio bwin de España in an eventful qualifying session which saw many riders involved in crashes. He will be joined on the front row by his team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).

The Australian set the fastest time of the weekend with a 1’38.757 which was just 0.158s ahead of his team-mate who had set the early pace this morning. Stoner was unable to stop his bike in time at turn one and ended up having to have a trip through the gravel trap in the last minutes of qualifying, this however didn’t affect him from starting tomorrow’s race from his 24th pole in the premier class.

The session was run in cooler conditions compared to Friday with the wind becoming stronger throughout the day. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) was leading the session for the most part, but was unable to match the pace of the Repsol Honda’s in front of him, with a deficit of 0.161 behind Stoner’s pole lap and just three thousandths off his fellow Spaniard’s time.

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) will head the second row of the grid in fourth place, despite crashing at turn one in the last five minutes of the session. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) will start in fifth place and continued to set times to place him as third fastest Honda, with Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso sixth.

Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) crashed at turn 5 in the final ten minutes of qualifying but finished as the top Ducati rider in seventh position, 1.135 behind the pole position lap.

Veteran Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) who scored a rostrum finish here in 2007, will start in eighth position after a fall in the dying moments of qualifying which he accepted with a bow to the crowd. His team-mate at Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Cal Crutchlow was one place behind in ninth in his first qualifying session at the Andalucian circuit.

There was a high speed crash for Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) when he went off in the Àlex Crivillé corner and got knocked by his bike during the accident. There were initial concerns for his left leg immediately after the accident but he was ok to continue after jumping onto his second bike. The Japanese rider took the final spot in the top ten.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) didn’t have the best of starts to his one hour qualifying session after a nasty tumble into turn 8 when he lost the front and finished in the gravel. The Italian was able to make it back to the pits to jump on his spare bike and finished outside the top ten in 12th place.

Nicky Hayden got the edge on his team-mate Rossi and will start on the fourth row alongside the Italian in 11th place. John Hopkins (Rizla Suzuki) replacing the injured Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) on his return to MotoGP secured 14th place, ahead of Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing), Karel Abraham (Cardion ab Motoracing) and Toni Elías (LCR Honda).


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