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Stoner blitzes Aragón qualifying

Stoner blitzes Aragón qualifying

A superb qualifying from Casey Stoner sealed him pole position for the Gran Premio de Aragón ahead of team mate Dani Pedrosa and Ben Spies.

With the afternoon warming up at the MotorLand circuit, the MotoGP field set out into the one hour qualifying with Repsol Honda taking the first two spots on the grid.

Casey Stoner broke the 1’49 barrier and set a new lap record with 13 minutes to go to before running off into the gravel and tipping over - a minor get off, but causing enough problems to warrant the Australian using his second bike for the remaining minutes of the qualifying. With 5 minutes remaining, the Championship leader took two more tenths out of his provisional pole lap to seal the front row spot with a 1’48.451.

A late push from Pedrosa to challenge for the pole position ended with him running off the track and unable to better his time of 1'48.747, though that time set on his penultimate lap was quick enough to grant him a front row start next to his team mate.

Yamaha Factory’s Ben Spies was unfazed by a crash he had in the morning session and posted a lap four tenths off that of Pedrosa to take the last spot on the front row, while defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo followed just a tenth off his team mate to head up the second row.

The third Repsol Honda man, Andrea Dovizioso, ranked fifth in the outing and was the last rider within a second of leading man Stoner, with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) again following his fellow countryman and rival in times, this outing by a margin of 0.156 seconds.

Nicky Hayden, who was on the podium here last year with Ducati, landed seventh on the grid, ahead of rookie Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) and San Carlo Honda Gresini man Hiroshi Aoyama completing the third row.

Randy De Puniet, who had jumped to the third spot in the timings just before running off into the gravel, finished the session in tenth position, while Valentino Rossi crashed 15 minutes into the session, returning to the outing with 30 minutes to go and setting a best time of 1'49.960 to start 13th on the grid.


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