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Lorenzo nips Stoner for USGP pole
The World Championship leader won a marvelous contest with Casey Stoner for first spot on the starting grid at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, with a blistering late lap of 1’20.978 to take his 40th career pole.

Jorge Lorenzo took his fifth consecutive pole position of the campaign on Saturday with a fantastic display in qualifying at Laguna Seca, in which he and Casey Stoner battled to the very end for top spot on the starting grid. Having both lapped consistently fast it was the Fiat Yamaha rider who finally took pole with his penultimate lap of the session, a 1’20.978, which made him the only rider of the weekend so far to have broken the 1’21” barrier.

Ducati Team rider Stoner had competed with Lorenzo for the latter half of the session and led for much of it, his time of 1’21.169 the best of a consistent set of fast turns. The Australian looked to be on the verge of his second pole of the season but eventually ended the session 0.191s off Lorenzo.

Securing third spot on the grid and taking his first ever front-row start in the premier class Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso was a fraction over six-tenths off Lorenzo’s marker, thus underlining the level to which the top two had pushed one another. Italian Dovizioso set his best time on his 36th and final lap.

Heading up the second row, which was separated by 0.071s, will be last year’s race winner Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), who was just under four-hundredths off his team-mate. Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies was impressive once more and will go for home glory from fifth after his final lap slotted him in front of Valentino Rossi, as the reigning World Champion secured sixth, repeating his position from both practice sessions.

The top ten was completed by American duo Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) and Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech3), and rookies Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) and Hector Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar).

Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) had a crash at the top of the corkscrew at the very end of the session, following his fall in the earlier practice, and Roger Lee Hayden (LCR Honda) had a run off at the same spot and another at turn nine in a complicated session for the stand-in.



Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 1'20.978 0.000
2 27 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Team Ducati 1'21.169 0.191 / 0.191
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'21.617 0.639 / 0.448
4 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'21.655 0.677 / 0.038
5 11 Ben SPIES USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'21.679 0.701 / 0.024
6 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 1'21.688 0.710 / 0.009
7 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 1'21.920 0.942 / 0.232
8 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'22.217 1.239 / 0.297
9 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 1'22.300 1.322 / 0.083
10 40 Hector BARBERA SPA Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati 1'22.366 1.388 / 0.066
11 33 Marco MELANDRI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 1'22.407 1.429 / 0.041
12 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 1'22.647 1.669 / 0.240
13 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 1'22.712 1.734 / 0.065
14 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 1'22.770 1.792 / 0.058
15 36 Mika KALLIO FIN Pramac Racing Team Ducati 1'23.127 2.149 / 0.357
16 15 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM Interwetten Honda MotoGP Honda 1'23.226 2.248 / 0.099
17 95 Roger Lee HAYDEN USA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 1'23.764 2.786 / 0.538

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