Results and summary of qualifying practice for the MotoGP class at Phillip Island:
Casey Stoner has secured his 4th straight pole position in the MotoGP class at Phillip Island, capping his domination of practice with the front spot on the grid. Stoner took over from Dani Pedrosa with 15 minutes to go, putting nearly eight tenths on the Spaniard, and was never challenged again. Early leader throughout the session Jorge Lorenzo will start from 2nd, the Yamaha man not quite having the measure of his title rival, but looking fast enough to keep him honest during the race, while Marco Simoncelli consolidated his good weekend with the final spot on the front row, qualifying in 3rd.
The battle for the 2nd row was intense and threw up a lot of surprises. Alvaro Bautista posted his best ever qualifying performance, putting the Rizla Suzuki into 4th on the grid for tomorrow's race, a feat made even more remarkable by the fact that Phillip Island has traditionally been the GSV-R's bogey track, Bautista qualifying in 14th here last year. Bautista's time was thanks almost entirely to the hard work of Andrea Dovizioso, Bautista benefiting massively from a tow from the Repsol Honda rider and then having the temerity to beat him into 5th place. Bautista had earlier raised the hackles of Dovizioso's teammate Dani Pedrosa, the normally calm Spaniard showing an uncharacteristing display of temper, waving arms and shaking fists at Bautista for following. There was a good deal of arm waving going on through the session, with Ben Spies joining the fun earlier as well.
Rounding out the second row was Marlboro Ducati's Nicky Hayden, his best qualifying position of the year, and matching the best qualifying position for a Ducati all season, Valentino Rossi, Karel Abraham and Hector Barbera having sneaked a 6th earlier in the year as well. Hayden was perhaps assisted a little by Ben Spies, the Yamaha man having suffered a huge 270 km/h crash early in the session that saw him badly bruised but still fit to continue. Spies came back after being examined at the medical center to qualifying in 7th, ahead of a surprisingly poor qualifying from Dani Pedrosa, the Repsol Honda man struggling with the softer tires and with grip. Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards took 9th, while Pramac Ducati's Loris Capirossi took his best qualifying position of the year to start from 10th. Valentino Rossi's miserable Australian outing continues, Rossi qualifying down in 13th position.
Saturday practice saw a number of big crashes. Apart from Spies high-speed tumble, Mapfre Aspar's replacement rider Damo Cudlin had a huge crash in the morning, sustaining a very nasty wound on the hip. The injury limited his time on the track, leaving the Australian outside the 107% qualifying limit, but Cudlin will be allowed to race as he has already posted a fast enough time during free practice. San Carlo Gresini's Hiroshi Aoyama was another rider to crash in the afternoon, falling heavily and taking no further part after setting the 12th fastest time.
|11||14||Randy DE PUNIET||DUCATI||1'31.635||1.660||0.052|
|Not qualified (Out 107%) 1'36.273|
* Have qualified for the race having achieved a time within 107 % of the fastest rider in a free practice session.