News 23 Oct 2011

Pedrosa continues Sepang form with pole position ahead of Stoner

Repsol Honda completes front row sweep on Saturday in Malaysia.

Spain's Dani Pedrosa clinched pole position in Malaysia on Saturday.

Spain's Dani Pedrosa clinched pole position in Malaysia on Saturday.

Dani Pedrosa topped a Repsol Honda shoot out and continued his domination of the MotoGP field during a searing qualifying session for the Shell Advance Malaysian Grand Prix, with Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso taking second and third.

Following a crash on just his fifth lap, Dani Pedrosa, who missed the Malaysian GP last year while recovering from a collarbone injury, clawed his way back to the top of the timings after fighting off both his Repsol Honda team-mates to take pole position with a time of 2’01.462.

Pedrosa’s time was still two-tenths behind the scorching lap he set in FP2, but a margin of 0.029s put him ahead of Casey Stoner, denying the new World Champion his 12th pole of the season.

Andrea Dovizioso landed a further 0.175s back to claim the final spot on the front row for the Italian’s seventh front row start of 2011.

Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) put in a lap of 2’02.010 to put him at the head of row two for Sunday’s race.

The American sits in fourth by a margin of 0.095s over Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) in fifth and just over a tenth ahead of the top Ducati qualifier, compatriot Nicky Hayden.

Hiroshi Aoyama heads up the third row, with Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista beside the Japanese rider and Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) completing the row after crashing during the session.

The Italian quickly made it back out on track to post a lap of 2’02.395 on his final of 22 laps.

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) made it into the top ten for the first time this weekend, while a recovering Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar), after a bit of fairing contact with Hayden in the session, completed 17 laps to land 14th on the grid.

An already sore Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing), who is still recovering from a highside crash in Australia last week, suffered a second fall of the day after retiring early from FP3 in the morning following a crash in that session. The Texan closed the session in 16th.

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