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Stoner on pole in Spain

Casey Stoner takes pole position for the Spanish MotoGP at Jerez.
Casey Stoner, winner from pole on his Repsol Honda debut in Qatar, will also start Sunday's Spanish MotoGP from the front despite being one of seven riders to fall at Jerez on Saturday afternoon.

Calling Stoner's incident as a 'fall' is actually a little exaggerated; the Australian ran-on at turn one on his last lap and then gently laid his RCV on its side in the gravel.

Either way it didn't matter as the 2007 world champion had already done enough to take pole by 0.158sec from team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

Pedrosa's best lap was his last and allowed the Spaniard to jump ahead of countryman Jorge Lorenzo and snatch second on the grid by just 0.003sec.

Yamaha's reigning world champion and 2010 Jerez winner Lorenzo surprised by leading for over three-quarters of the one-hour session and was only 0.161sec from Stoner. The #1 finished between the Repsol Hondas in Qatar, after Pedrosa faded with arm numbness.

Lorenzo's team-mate Ben Spies was only ninth at the end of final practice, but put himself back on target for the podium fight - weather permitting - by grabbing a late fourth place, just before joining the crash list.

Starting alongside the former World Superbike champion will be Gresini Honda's Marco Simoncelli, while fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso rebounded from some tough practice sessions by sealing sixth on the third Repsol bike. The pair could be set to repeat their race-long Qatar battle.

The top Ducati rider on the grid will be Pramac's Randy de Puniet, in seventh, despite the Frenchman missing the last eight-minutes due to a crash.

The first of the qualifying fallers had been seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi, who lowsided from his factory Ducati after 13 minutes.

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DJH - Unregistered

April 02, 2011 2:53 PM

Do you Rossi die hards *really* think that Vale would have been as dominant if someone like Stoner was on the same machinery as him? In 07 Rossi blamed the tyres. In 2010 he said Lorenzo only won it because it was on his bike. Rossi always has an excuse, but not this time. He can't say jack now. That bike was a race winning and competitive package, even though every corner was right on the edge. Rossi has now had the full Ducati experience. Losing the front end, down in 12th, two other Ducati's in front of him, and Stoner on pole. You can't script this ****.

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