Casey Stoner takes pole for MotoGP opener
Casey Stoner will start tonight’s opening round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar from pole position.
Having dominated all three practice sessions, the Australian ended qualifying 0.2s ahead of Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
Stoner has won three of the last four races held at the Losail venue, and said he does not believe Qatar will necessarily indicative of the season-long form.
“I think the season is the biggest thing I’m looking forward to – the consistency we’ve shown in pre-season testing is something that’s really given us a lot of confidence,” said Stoner.
“This weekend we’ve made small steps, but it is a track where we’ve done very well in the past, so we’re not holding too much on this circuit, for sure.”
Reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo will also start on the front row, despite trailing Stoner by a considerable 0.8s.
Lorenzo’s former team-mate Valentino Rossi continued to struggle on the Ducati, and will start ninth.
Just 16 bikes will start the race, after Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista broke his left femur in a practice crash.
|4||Marco Simoncelli||Gresini Honda||1m54.988s|
|6||Hector Barbera||Aspar Ducati||1m55.223s|
|8||Cal Crutchlow||Tech 3 Yamaha||1m55.578s|
|10||Colin Edwards||Tech 3 Yamaha||1m55.647s|
|11||Randy de Puniet||Pramac Ducati||1m55.656s|
|12||Hiroshi Aoyama||Gresini Honda||1m55.724s|
|14||Loris Capirossi||Pramac Ducati||1m56.323s|
|15||Karel Abraham||Cardion Ducati||1m56.665s|
|16||Toni Elias||LCR Honda||1m57.992s|