MotoGP »

Stoner seals 2008 qualifying award.

Casey Stoner may have lost the chance to defend his MotoGP title, but the Ducati star's raw speed is beyond doubt and the Australian secured the 2008 'MotoGP Best Qualifier' award, two rounds early, with a hard earned home pole position at Phillip Island on Saturday.

With the qualifying award now being decided by points rather than cumulative time, Stoner has clinched another new BMW road car by taking an untouchable 66 point advantage over newly crowned six time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi.

Stoner has taken eight poles from 16 attempts this season - but all his poles have come during the last ten rounds, including seven in a row. Stoner's latest pole saw the Ducati rider edge out Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo by just 0.069secs, with Casey also the only Bridgestone rider in the top five.

"We struggled a little b it this morning with race set-up so we needed this afternoon to sort things out and get the bike working properly on a race tyre," said Stoner who, like all four Desmosedici riders, fell this morning. "Once we did that I felt pretty confident that we could stick a qualifying tyre in and put a good lap together.

"This is actually the first time this season we've had three identical qualifying tyres and the first one ran out of grip in the final sequence of left-handers. With the last one I tried to preserve it a bit better by picking the bike up out of the corners earlier and even then it was do-or-die in those final three bends.

"I thought the lap time would be good enough for a front row start but we ended up on pole position so I'm surprised and extra happy today. This is my home race but there is no pressure on us and I just want to enjoy it. I hope the fans do too," he declared.

Stoner will start Sunday's Australian Grand Prix 11 points ahead of Dani Pedrosa, who qualified sixth on the grid for Repsol Honda. Rossi, who has won the last five MotoGP races in a row, will start just twelfth after an accident.

Meanwhile, Stoner's team-mate Marco Melandri - currently 18th and last in the best qualifier standings - will start from just 17th position.

"I'm really disappointed because this was supposed to be a good track for us but it's turned out to be even more difficult than the rest," said the Italian. "After the problem we had this morning and the crash, which was really strange because I was riding slowly and upright, things didn't improve. Normally I try to brake really hard to make up for the fact we're losing out on corner exit but today I couldn't do that because I had no confidence under braking. It's a really difficult situation and we'll have to wait and see if we can turn it around for the race."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stoner, Australian MotoGP 2008
Stoner, Crutchlow, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Dovizioso, Stoner, Crutchlow, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Stoner, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Dall`Igna, Stoner, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Casey Stoner, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Dall’Igna and Stoner
Bastianini, Brad Binder, Navarro, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia Moto3 2016
Navarro, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia Moto3 2016
Beirer, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia MotoGP 2016
Mir, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia Moto3 2016
Sasaki, Viu, Fernandez, Red Bull Rookies MotoGP Cup, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia MotoGP 2016
Zarco, Rodrigo, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia Moto2 2016
Zarco, Rodrigo, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia Moto2 2016
Zarco, Rodrigo,  FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia Moto2 2016
Zarco, Rodrigo, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia Moto2 2016
Zarco, Rodrigo, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia Moto2 2016
Luthi, Zarco, Rins, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia Moto2 2016

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


bottoms up - Unregistered

October 04, 2008 12:30 PM

jim you are right stoner has had 13 pole starts for his 14 wins and 14 fastest laps but im sure he would trade his pole starts for another championship. but if you are to lose your crown i dont think there is any shame in losing it to rossi.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.