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Stoner secures eighth pole of the season

Stoner secures eighth pole of the season

Casey Stoner took his 30th MotoGP career pole position and 8th of the 2011 season, and with it he broke his own record set here in 2008 by two tenths of a second. Pedrosa qualified third and Dovizioso sixth.

It was a very hot qualifying session with air temperatures reaching 29 degrees and a track temperature of 39 degrees. Stoner spent the early part of the session working on set up for the hard tyre, when he switched to the soft tyre he was able to record the fastest lap seen at Misano with a 1'33.138 on lap 18.

Dani Pedrosa also spent most of the session working on tyre set up, the Spaniard will be hoping for a strong start and will try to match the race pace of Casey and Jorge ahead of him. Andrea Dovizioso, who made some steps forward in qualifying is happy to start from the second row and will be aiming for another podium finish in front of his home crowd.

All three Repsol Honda riders compared the performance of the soft and hard compound Bridgestone tyres. As was the case in Indianapolis, this will be a key point for completing the 28 lap race.

Casey Stoner:
"It's been a pretty good weekend for us here, steadily improving the bike each session. We struggled a little with the hard tyre this afternoon, trying to find the correct balance but then we made an improvement and got the bike feeling better. Then when we put the soft tyres on, we got a great lap in but the bike wasn't working too well in the front, which is something we need to improve for tomorrow. It will be a tough race, Dani and Jorge are both running very well so I'll try to get a good start but there are a few more overtaking opportunities here at Misano, it's not a track with only one line. The weekend on a whole is going well, tomorrow we'll have to decide on tyres depending on what the weather is doing, hopefully it will cool down a little which would be nice!"

Dani Pedrosa:
"I'm happy with the qualifying session, I spent most of the time working on the tyres, swapping from the soft to the medium compound, trying to find the right one for tomorrow; normally before the qualifying session you have almost decided, but here it's been more difficult because of the weather and track conditions. We were working on that a lot this afternoon and in the last couple of laps I was pushing to be on the front row. We've made it, which is very important here because the first corners are very tight, and the times between the three of us are very close, so that's positive. For race pace, Casey and Jorge are still slightly faster than me, but we will look for something more on the settings tonight and try to be with them tomorrow for whole race."

Andrea Dovizioso:
“This morning we worked on the set up, reducing the issue of the pitching we had yesterday. This afternoon we improved the rhythm with the hard tyre in preparation for the race. Our target was to start from the first two rows, so the final result is not too bad. Tomorrow it will crucial to make a good start and try to stay with the front riders. Casey and Lorenzo are really strong and Dani is very fast off the start so it will be important to stay with them if we want to gain some points on Lorenzo and control Dani. We will continue working but the good point is that we are more competitive in the race pace than in using the soft compound for the qualifying. With these high temperatures and humidity the race will be really tough tomorrow. I hope that the Italian spectators will give me an extra boost.”

Repsol Honda press release.

MotoGP, 2011, GP APEROL DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI, Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team

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