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Stoner storms to pole at Jerez
Casey Stoner on pole
Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner took his second pole of the 2011 MotoGP season for the Gran Premio bwin de España in an eventful qualifying session which saw many riders involved in crashes. He will be joined on the front row by his team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).

The Australian set the fastest time of the weekend with a 1’38.757 which was just 0.158s ahead of his team-mate who had set the early pace this morning. Stoner was unable to stop his bike in time at turn one and ended up having to have a trip through the gravel trap in the last minutes of qualifying, this however didn’t affect him from starting tomorrow’s race from his 24th pole in the premier class.

The session was run in cooler conditions compared to Friday with the wind becoming stronger throughout the day. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) was leading the session for the most part, but was unable to match the pace of the Repsol Honda’s in front of him, with a deficit of 0.161 behind Stoner’s pole lap and just three thousandths off his fellow Spaniard’s time.

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) will head the second row of the grid in fourth place, despite crashing at turn one in the last five minutes of the session. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) will start in fifth place and continued to set times to place him as third fastest Honda, with Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso sixth.

Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) crashed at turn 5 in the final ten minutes of qualifying but finished as the top Ducati rider in seventh position, 1.135 behind the pole position lap.

Veteran Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) who scored a rostrum finish here in 2007, will start in eighth position after a fall in the dying moments of qualifying which he accepted with a bow to the crowd. His team-mate at Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Cal Crutchlow was one place behind in ninth in his first qualifying session at the Andalucian circuit.

There was a high speed crash for Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) when he went off in the Alex Criville corner and got knocked by his bike during the accident. There were initial concerns for his left leg immediately after the accident but he was ok to continue after jumping onto his second bike. The Japanese rider took the final spot in the top ten.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) didn’t have the best of starts to his one hour qualifying session after a nasty tumble into turn 8 when he lost the front and finished in the gravel. The Italian was able to make it back to the pits to jump on his spare bike and finished outside the top ten in 12th place.

Nicky Hayden got the edge on his team-mate Rossi and will start on the fourth row alongside the Italian in 11th place. John Hopkins (Rizla Suzuki) replacing the injured Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) on his return to MotoGP secured 14th place, ahead of Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing), Karel Abraham (Cardion ab Motoracing) and Toni Elías (LCR Honda).


This is the view most riders may have of Casey Stoner on Sunday
CASEY STONER – 1st - 1'38.757
"The Qualifying result was good but as for using the rest of the session and setting the bike up, we weren't totally happy with what we achieved and lost some time. We're struggling a little to get the balance of the bike where I want it, we make some improvements in the front and then some in the rear but never at the same time which is a little frustrating. On my last run of the session I was pushing a little too hard and was a bit late with the brakes, the rear came up and I released the brakes but I had way too much speed going in there, it was nice just to avoid the air fence. Anyway we're happy, we're on pole position again but we still need to finish the race tomorrow and I will fight for a podium position and hopefully the race victory, but I never underestimate the Spanish riders, they find something extra for this race and they are very hard to beat".

DANI PEDROSA – 2nd - 1'38.915
"To be on the front row is always very important and second is a good place to start the race. I would like to improve the bike a little bit, especially on the third section of the track, the only place where I lose some tenths, and it would help to have better braking and exit of the corners there. It's been tough with the shoulder - in fact this morning I decided to only do a few laps to not stress the arm so much - and it will be difficult also tomorrow, but there's nothing else I can do, I'll just try to finish the race in the best way possible and hopefully, bring home a good result. We need to see how the weather is tomorrow - perhaps it rains, but maybe it could be better for my shoulder".

Jorge Lorenzo 3rd 1'38.918
"I pushed the maximum from the first lap and improved my lap time from this morning. We were one of the few to improve with the tougher conditions when the track was worse. When we put the soft tyres in we managed to make a 138.9 lap which is a good time and we were only some milliseconds from Dani and less than two tenths from Casey. We are confident for tomorrow and we are pushing for a podium, if the opportunity arises then we will go for a victory."

Ben Spies 4th 1'39.390
"Thats definitely the best session weve had so far. Ive got to take my hat off to my crew because it has been a hard weekend. Every practice session weve had two different bikes while weve been searching for the right set up. Theyve been doing an excellent job getting me more comfortable, I wouldnt say Im 100% there yet but from Friday its a big improvement. In qualifying I had to do my part and step up to get closer to the front on the grid and it all worked out. Its definitely a team effort, I asked a lot from the guys and they came through. I had a small crash, one of those crashes where I knew going into the corner that Id made a mistake and was trying to slow it down but lost the front."



Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'38.757 0.000/0.000
2 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'38.915 0.158/0.158
3 1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1'38.918 0.161/0.003
4 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1'39.390 0.633/0.472
5 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 1'39.486 0.729/0.096
6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'39.709 0.952/0.223
7 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 1'39.892 1.135/0.183
8 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'39.895 1.138/0.003
9 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'40.019 1.262/0.124
10 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 1'40.168 1.411/0.149
11 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 1'40.175 1.418/0.007
12 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1'40.185 1.428/0.010
13 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 1'40.217 1.460/0.032
14 21 John HOPKINS USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 1'40.310 1.553/0.093
15 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 1'40.523 1.766/0.213
16 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 1'40.601 1.844/0.078
17 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 1'41.114 2.357/0.513

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