Stoner and Pedrosa complete Repsol Honda 1-2 in Qualifying

The first qualifying session of the 2011 Championship took place in Qatar this evening with Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa occupying the top two positions on the grid.

The Repsol Honda riders spent much of the early part of the session exchanging fastest laps and were the only two riders to break into the low 1'54s. Stoner's pole time of 1'54.137 was almost a second quicker than his own Pole Position set here in 2010. Pedrosa took second place with a time of 1'54.342 and Jorge Lorenzo completed the front row of the grid for tomorrow's race. Andrea Dovizioso qualified in 7th position after finding some traffic on track during his flying laps. However, he is confident he can fight for a podium in tomorrow night's race.

CASEY STONER – 1st – 1'54.137
"We can't ask for a much better weekend, everything has gone well and the team have made all the right steps and gradually improved the bike as the weekend progressed. Tonight I was able to achieve good, consistent lap times again on the hard tire and this is important for the race tomorrow. As ever, we will keep our feet on the ground as we've had good starts to seasons in the past and then they haven't played out as expected, we just need to keep working and ensure that we continue to progress. We've done all our homework and the best job possible, now I just want to get the season started".

DANI PEDROSA – 2nd – 1'54.342
"The weekend has been very good for us so far, I've been running at the top in every session and I'm very happy to be on the front row in Losail for the first time; this is a big improvement for me. Nevertheless, we have to focus on the race, Casey is running very fast, also Lorenzo is improving very quickly, so we have to focus making no mistakes tomorrow. I don't know yet if the race will be a fight between Casey and myself. We've never run at 10:00 pm, so I hope the bike works well after 125 cc and Moto2 races. I want to prepare as best as possible for tomorrow and be ready to be consistent for 22 laps. The race will be fast, I guess, so we will need to maintain a high pace. I hope I will be able to do it and fight for the victory".

Qualifying Results
1 Casey Stoner 1'54.137 AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 1'54.342 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo 1'54.947 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
4 Marco Simoncelli 1'54.988 ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
5 Ben Spies 1'55.095 USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
6 Hector Barbera 1'55.223 SPA DUCATI Paginas Amarillas Aspar
7 Andrea Dovizioso 1'55.229 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
8 Cal Crutchlow 1'55.578 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
9 Valentino Rossi 1'55.637 ITA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
10 Colin Edwards 1'55.647 USA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
11 Randy De Puniet 1'55.656 FRA DUCATI Pramac Racing
12 Hiroshi Aoyama 1'55.724 JPN HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
13 Nicky Hayden 1'55.881 USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
14 Loris Capirossi 1'56.323 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
15 Karel Abraham 1'56.665 CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
16 Toni Eias 1'57.992 SPA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP

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