Stoner edges Simoncelli in qualifying

Casey Stoner will start the French Grand Prix from pole position
Casey Stoner will start the French Grand Prix from pole position

Casey Soner has continued to dominate the French Grand Prix weekend, taking pole position after topping all three practice sessions.

The Repsol Honda rider led the way for the majority of the 60 minute qualifying session – setting consecutive laps of 1:33.26s and 1:33.15s inside the final three minutes to cement his position at the top of the table.

A last gasp effort from Marco Simoncelli saw the rapid Italian fall short by just 0.059s, while Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa made it a Honda clean-sweep of the top four positions.

Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was fastest of the non-Hondas on his factory Yamaha in fifth position – albiet some 0.55s adrift of Stoner.

Tech 3 Yamaha twins Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards were next, while Ben Spies, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden rounded out the top 10.

Randy de Puniet, Karel Abraham and Toni Ellias all walked away unscathed from crashes during the session, with de Puniet falling at the third-last corner just eight minutes into the session.

Benefitting from the latest Ohlins front-forks tested after the Portuguese Grand Prix, Stoner has now taken three out of a possible four pole positions this season.

See below for the full session result

 1 Casey Stoner     Honda           1m33.153s  
 2 Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda   1m33.212s 0.059s
 3 Andrea Dovizioso Honda           1m33.621s 0.468s
 4 Dani Pedrosa     Honda           1m33.683s 0.530s
 5 Jorge Lorenzo    Yamaha          1m33.706s 0.553s
 6 Cal Crutchlow    Tech 3 Yamaha   1m33.804s 0.651s
 7 Colin Edwards    Tech 3 Yamaha   1m34.063s 0.910s
 8 Ben Spies        Yamaha          1m34.206s 1.053s
 9 Valentino Rossi  Ducati          1m34.206s 1.053s
10 Nicky Hayden     Ducati          1m34.277s 1.124s
11 Randy de Puniet   Pramac Ducati   1m34.351s 1.198s
12 Alvaro Bautista  Suzuki          1m34.513s 1.360s
13 Hiroshi Aoyama   Gresini Honda   1m34.612s 1.459s
14 Hector Barbera   Aspar Ducati    1m34.650s 1.497s
15 Loris Capirossi  Pramac Ducati   1m34.866s 1.713s
16 Karel Abraham    Cardion Ducati  1m35.010s 1.857s
17 Toni Elias       LCR Honda       1m35.433s 2.280s

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