Casey Stoner takes pole despite qualifying crash
Casey Stoner has secured pole position for Sunday’s Air Asia Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix despite crashing his Repsol Honda midway through the hour long qualifying session.
Stoner was flung from his bike when its rear-wheel broke traction heading into the Turn 4 hairpin just 20 minutes into the session, forcing the Australian to limp back to the pits for his spare bike.
The 27-year-old then managed to undercut his previous benchmark on just his second lap on the new machine, going on to cement the pole by lapping faster still on two later runs, ending with a best of 1:29.62s.
Jorge Lorenzo was 0.5s adrift in second, while fellow Spaniard and championship rival Dani Pedrosa completes the front-row.
All riders were denied the chance to go quicker in the final two minutes when threatening skies finally delivered a brief rain shower.
Cal Crutchlow, Stefan Bradl and Andrea Dovizioso will make up the second row for the race, with Alvaro Bautista, Valentino Rossi, Randy de Puniet and Nicky Hayden rounding out the top 10.
There was disappointment for Australian substitute rider Kris McLaren, who failed to make the qualifying cut-off on the Avintia Blusens BQR.
McLaren’s session had been interrupted by a high-side exiting MG Corner moments before Stoner endured his off.
Another to head off-track during the session was de Puniet, who toured the gravel at the Southern Loop before rejoining unharmed.
A 20 minute morning warm-up will complete pre-race festivities for the MotoGP field tomorrow morning before the 27 lap Air Asia Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, which is set to start at 1600.
See below for the full qualifying result
|1||1||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||335.6||1’29.623|
|2||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||330.6||1’30.140||0.517 / 0.517|
|3||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||335.7||1’30.575||0.952 / 0.435|
|4||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||332.7||1’30.763||1.140 / 0.188|
|5||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||337.1||1’30.798||1.175 / 0.035|
|6||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||334.7||1’31.200||1.577 / 0.402|
|7||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||334.9||1’31.490||1.867 / 0.290|
|8||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||337.4||1’31.661||2.038 / 0.171|
|9||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||323.6||1’31.667||2.044 / 0.006|
|10||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||334.4||1’31.681||2.058 / 0.014|
|11||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||339.6||1’31.910||2.287 / 0.229|
|12||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||319.8||1’31.990||2.367 / 0.080|
|13||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||334.1||1’32.231||2.608 / 0.241|
|14||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||316.8||1’33.050||3.427 / 0.819|
|15||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda-Suter||315.4||1’33.069||3.446 / 0.019|
|16||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||321.7||1’33.450||3.827 / 0.381|
|17||77||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||317.4||1’33.489||3.866 / 0.039|
|18||84||Roberto ROLFO||ITA||Speed Master||ART||314.0||1’33.577||3.954 / 0.088|
|19||22||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||313.5||1’34.156||4.533 / 0.579|
|43||Kris McLAREN||AUS||Avintia Blusens||BQR||311.6||1’36.324||6.701 / 2.168|