News 4 Sep 2011

Stoner breaks record on way to MotoGP pole position at Misano

Stoner re-writes the record book with pole position in Italy for Repsol Honda.

Australia's Casey Stoner raced to pole position with a new lap record at Misano on Saturday.

Australia's Casey Stoner raced to pole position with a new lap record at Misano on Saturday.

Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner will start the Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini from pole position on Sunday, after breaking his own lap record set at the Misano circuit three years ago.

The Australian set out into the afternoon qualifying session intent on taking pole position for the San Marino race on Sunday, and not only achieved his goal but broke his own lap record set in 2008 with a lap time of 1:33.138.

“It’s been a pretty good weekend for us here, steadily improving the bike each session,” Stoner said. “We struggled a little with the hard tyre this afternoon, trying to find the correct balance, but then we made an improvement and got the bike feeling better.

“Then when we put the soft tyres on, we got a great lap in but the bike wasn’t working too well in the front, which is something we need to improve for tomorrow.

“It will be a tough race, Dani and Jorge are both running very well so I’ll try to get a good start, but there are a few more overtaking opportunities here at Misano, it’s not a track with only one line.

“The weekend on the whole is going well. Tomorrow we’ll have to decide on tyres depending on what the weather is doing, hopefully it will cool down a little which would be nice!”

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo made a late push for the pole after leading the majority of the session, but missed out on the top spot by 0.120s to take second beside championship leader Stoner on the front row.

Last year’s pole man and race winner Dani Pedrosa’s time of 1:33.318 gave him the final spot on the front row.

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing), who started from fifth last year and finished the race sixth, will start his Yamaha YZR-M1 at the head of the second row after posting a time of 1:33.947.

The American is joined by Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team), whose time of 1:33.990 landed him fifth, while Andrea Dovizioso of Repsol Honda takes the sixth spot on the outside of row two.

Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) heads the third row, with Álvaro Bautista, whose eighth place start is his best yet of the season, joining the American.

Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar), who finished ninth and was the first non-factory Ducati last year in the MotoGP race at Misano, qualified ninth to complete row three.

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) completed the top 10 riders, while Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) followed in 11th, 1.538s off the pole position time set by Stoner.

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) had a crash when pushing hard at the end of the qualifying session, ending up 13th on the grid just behind Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing), while Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) had a crash early in the qualifying practice.

The French rider ended the session in 14th place, ahead of ahead of Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) in 15th.

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