MotoGP World Championship leader Casey Stoner carried his dominant practice form into qualifying at Indianapolis, where he claimed his seventh pole of the season by over half-a-second.

Local star Ben Spies appears the only rider capable of preventing Stoner winning his seventh race of the year, although running offline during overtaking - and tyre wear - remain major issues for the race.

Stoner has been critical of the circuit layout as well as the new asphalt this weekend, but it certainly hasn't slowed him down.

"I'm not going to beat around the bush and say, 'Yeah, it's one of my favourite tracks,'," said Stoner. "This track has very, very tight corners. You're kind of just rolling through some of the corners. So it doesn't give you a lot of enjoyment. There's only a few corners that really are a lot of fun.

"The asphalt is still not in great condition. We're all struggling with graining of the front tyre, which is due to lack of grip. I think we're going to continue to have that problem.

"The amount of dirt and dust that's on that circuit is quite amazing. As soon as you go offline, it doesn't matter how fast you're going, it was very, very slippery.

"It's going to be a lot of hard work just to understand for overtaking. I think it's going to be really difficult to find some clean spots on the track to overtake safely. We're just going to have to try and get a good start, get away well and see how the race pans out.

"We all have to race in the same conditions, and just because I don't like a circuit or I'm not really happy with the surface doesn't mean I'm going to let it affect me."

Stoner's nearest title rival, reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), is 32 points behind the Australian. Lorenzo will start third on the grid.

Dani Pedrosa, last year's Indy winner, will start from fourth, having qualified over one-second from team-mate Stoner.

"We had some issues in the session with the front tyre, I didn't feel very comfortable with it and we couldn't get the most from it," he explained. "The race will be hard because it's very hot out there, and it will also be a big challenge for the tyres, but I hope we perform better in the race".

Andrea Dovizioso will start alongside Pedrosa and is also concentrating on making his tyres go the distance.

"It will be important to have a good start and ride consistently, trying to manage the tyres for the 28 lap race," said the Italian. "The rear grip is too strong compared with the front which causes the front tyre to overheat, this remains the main issue so we need to continue working with the set up to rectify this.

"I have good rhythm and even though the gap to Casey remains too big for my liking, I think we can fight with Dani and Lorenzo for a podium position, this is our target and we will continue working to improve the machine for the race".


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