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Stoner smashes lap record in Silverstone qualifying

Stoner smashes lap record in Silverstone qualifying

Casey Stoner launched his Repsol Honda to pole position for the AirAsia British Grand Prix with a record breaking lap time, ahead of Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).

Under darkening skies, Stoner outran the competition to pole position in a spellbinding MotoGP qualifying session, setting a new lap record of 2’02.020, over a second faster than last year’s pole position record set by Jorge Lorenzo at the then brand new track. Simoncelli ran a close second with a qualifying time of 2’02.208, with Lorenzo in third, 0.029s behind the Italian.

Simoncelli leapt to the top of the timesheet at the start of the session, followed by Lorenzo at the 30-minute mark with a lap 1.5s faster than his best practice time, then by Stoner, who set a time of 2’02.442, and again by Simoncelli who overtook the lead with a lap of 2’02.389, only to have Stoner set an unstoppable lap that sent him to the front of the field.

The rest of the field set far faster times than those of the previous day, with Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) heading the second row for the AirAsia British Grand Prix race with a time of 2’02.677, over a second faster than his best practice time, followed by Stoner’s team mate Andrea Dovizioso in fifth with a time of 2’03.212. Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing), who had a crash in the morning session, finished qualifying in sixth, putting his Ducati in the last spot on the second row, with a time of 2’04.151.

Nicky Hayden will start in seventh position 0.153s behind Abraham, followed by Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) who continued to improve his times while still recovering from a broken collarbone. Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) qualified ninth, 0.012s behind Edwards, and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) completed the top ten times with a 2’04.589.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) finished the qualifying session down in 13th, behind Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) in 11th and Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) in 12th. The Italian has struggled all weekend to find a set up for the GP11 while simultaneously learning his way around the track after missing last year's race due to injury.

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was enjoying a good weekend until a crash after completing just two laps resulted in a broken collarbone and concussion. Toni Elías also crashed in the first half of the session.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011, AIRASIA BRITISH GRAND PRIX, QP

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