Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Phillip Island:
Casey Stoner's reign at Phillip Island continues unabated. The Australian has been untouchable throughout the weekend at his home Grand Prix, and he added his first pole since the Sachsenring in July to top off the day. Stoner was fast from the outset, and despite a small crash in the middle of the session, when he got caught out by a cold tire at Honda corner on his first full lap on the hard rear, he went on to end the session well clear of 2nd-place man Jorge Lorenzo. His time was only fractionally faster than the lap he set in this morning's FP3 session, a brief shower of rain falling in the final few minutes stopping any further attempts to improve times.
Jorge Lorenzo will start from 2nd on the grid, happy to be ahead of Dani Pedrosa and with the aim of chasing Stoner for as long as possible. Lorenzo had a good day on Saturday, improving in the morning session and cutting the gap to Stoner to just over half a second, while opening up the gap to Pedrosa to over four tenths. Pedrosa felt that he could have closed the gap to both men if the rain had held off, the Repsol Honda man circulating ready for another attempt to improve his time when the rain shower called an early halt to proceedings.
Cal Crutchlow heads up the second row, his time just over a second slower than Stoner's, but good enough to put him in 4th spot. Crutchlow's race pace is strong, but it may not be as good as Stefan Bradl's, the LCR Honda man having a very impressive first MotoGP outing at Phillip Island. Bradl will start from 5th on the grid, but has the best pace of the second row of the grid. Andrea Dovizioso rounds out the second row, taking 6th spot on the grid for tomorrow's race.
Alvaro Bautista heads up the third row of the grid, the San Carlo Gresini Honda man the last rider to be within two seconds of Stoner's pole pace. Valentino Rossi sits beside Bautista in 8th, finishing ahead of Randy de Puniet. De Puniet's 9th place start is the Frenchman's best qualifying position of the season, and the best for a CRT rider this year, the acceleration deficit the CRT bikes suffer less of an issue at the flowing circuit. De Puniet will start ahead of Nicky Hayden, the second factory Ducati rider rounding out the top 10.
|9||14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||1'31.667||2.044||0.006|
|Not qualified (Out 107%) 1'35.896|