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Edwards takes pole position with new Shanghai record

Edwards takes pole position with new Shanghai record

Tech 3 Yamaha rider achieves first top spot since 2007 British Grand Prix with blistering lap of Chinese track.

In the latest chapter of his surprise resurgence with the Tech 3 Yamaha team, Colin Edwards took pole position for the Pramac Grand Prix of China with a last-gasp lap of the Shanghai International Circuit.

Having previously been amongst the frontrunners in the practice sessions, Edwards smashed Valentino Rossi´s 2007 pole position record by nearly three tenths of a second with a lap of 1´58.139 in the final stages of the qualifying run. He was the only rider to do so, thus claiming pole position number three of his MotoGP career and his first since moving to the satellite Yamaha outfit.

Rossi himself will start from second place on the grid, with a 1´58.494 lap only slightly slower than his marker from last year. The Italian battled for victory with eventual race winner Casey Stoner in 2007, and a repeat of this could be on the cards if the pair can get past Edwards and break away.

The front row will be completed by 2007 World Champion Stoner, who lines up in the top three for the first time this season. The Australian was in contention for pole throughout the session, before eventually succumbing to the pace of the Yamaha riders.

The poleman at all three of the previous 2008 rounds, Jorge Lorenzo will head row two in Shanghai. Lorenzo´s performance was truly remarkable considering the doubts surrounding his participation in the session.

A left ankle fracture and pain in that of the right hand side meant that the Spaniard was not guaranteed to play any part in proceedings, and the extent of his injuries meant that he had to be helped from his bike by crew members. He nearly repeated his huge highside from yesterday, but had his wits about him to save himself another impact with the asphalt.

Inseparable in the opening three races, Lorenzo and Repsol Honda´s Dani Pedrosa will continue their title battle from the second line of attack, level on points in the current World Championship standings.

Like Edwards a member of the MotoGP veteran´s brigade, Loris Capirossi took the sixth spot on the grid with his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R, the final rider to go round in under 1´59.

The third row is comprised of Tech 3 Yamaha´s second rider James Toseland, Capirossi´s fellow Suzuki man Chris Vermeulen and LCR Honda´s Randy de Puniet. The latter suffered a late crash in an incident-filled session, which included falls for Andrea Dovizioso, Nicky Hayden, Shinya Nakano and John Hopkins.


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