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Stoner on first pole of season

2012-05-05 17:20

Estoril, Portugal - World champion Casey Stoner seized his first pole position of the 2012 season today ahead of the Portuguese MotoGP in Estoril on Sunday.

He beat Spain's Dani Pedrosa in a fiercely contested qualifying session.

Australian Stoner also prevented MotoGP leader Jorge Lorenzo from grabbing his third consecutive pole position of the season after the Spaniard was the fastest in the season-opener in Qatar and the previous weekend in Jerez.

Lorenzo finished fourth in qualifying behind third-placed British rider Cal Crutchlow.
Stoner's best lap was 1min37.188, 0.013sec quicker than Pedrosa. Stoner came out faster after the red flag was raised with 11 minutes to go in the qualifying session after a heavy fall by American rider Colin Edwards.

2012 Portugal MotoGP qualifying results
1 Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda 1min37.188
2 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 1min37.201
3 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Yamaha 1min37.289
4 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 1min37.466
5 Ben Spies (US) Yamaha 1min37.723
6 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda 1min37.917
7 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Yamaha 1min37.943
8 Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati 1min38.006
9 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Ducati 1min38.059
10 Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati 1min38.253

Reuters