Stoner on pole for Oz MotoGP
PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia - Casey Stoner will start from pole at the Australian Motorcycle GP after dominating qualifying on Saturday as he bids for a fifth successive win at Phillip Island and the chance to seal the MotoGP championship with two races to spare.
Honda-rider Stoner, who earlier slammed organisers for the bumpy state of the track, lapped the scenic seaside circuit in 1min29.975 in trying conditions with off-shore gusts buffeting riders.
Stoner's lap extended his MotoGP record to 11 poles in a dominant first season with his new team after crossing from Ducati last year and was nearly half a second faster than reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
The Yamaha-rider's front row spot will nonetheless buoy the Spaniard's hopes of denying the Australian his second MotoGP title at his home grand prix.
Stoner can seal the title with victory on Sunday but he needs Lorenzo to finish off the podium.
Stoner's Honda team mate Marco Simoncelli snatched a front row spot, finishing third after pipping Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista in the last few minutes of the session.
Valentino Rossi's struggles with his new team Ducati continued, the seven-times premier class champion managing only the 13th-fastest lap.
1 Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda 1min29.975
2 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 1min30.448
3 Marco Simoncelli (Italy) Honda 1min30.599
4 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Suzuki 1min30.714
5 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Honda 1min30.780
6 Nicky Hayden (US.) Ducati 1min30.792
7 Ben Spies (US.) Yamaha 1min30.835
8 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 1min30.871
9 Colin Edwards (U.S.) Yamaha 1min31.237
10 Loris Capirossi (Italy) Ducati 1min31.583
1 Johann Zarco (France) Derbi 1min39.207
2 Sandro Cortese (Germany) Aprilia 1min39.558
3 Jonas Folger (Germany) Aprilia 1min39.610
4 Nicolas Terol (Spain) Aprilia 1min39.702
5 Hector Faubel (Spain) Aprilia 1min39.963
6 Efren Vazquez (Spain) Derbi 1min40.272
7 Danny Kent (Britain) Aprilia 1min40.292
8 Alberto Moncayo (Spain) Aprilia 1min40.301
9 Maverick Vinales (Spain) Aprilia 1min40.334
1 Luis Salom (Spain) Aprilia 1min40.424
1 Alex de Angelis (San Marino) Motobi 1min34.574
2 Mike Di Meglio (France) Tech 3 1min34.662
3 Yuki Takahashi (Japan) Moriwaki 1min34.689
4 Scott Redding (Britain) Suter 1min34.699
5 Kenan Sofuoglu (Turkey) Suter 1min34.729
6 Pol Espargaro (Spain) FTR 1min34.797
7 Bradley Smith (Britain) Tech 3 1min34.867
8 Stefan Bradl (Germany) Kalex 1min34.902
9 Thomas Luethi (Switzerland) Suter 1min34.958
10 Mattia Pasini (Italy) FTR 1min35.092