MotoGP – Stoner secures ninth pole of season at Aragón

September 18, 2011

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Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) will start Sunday’s Gran Premio de Aragón from pole position, his ninth of the season, after a blistering display on Saturday at the 14th Round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship.

Stoner broke the 1’49” barrier and set a new lap record with 13 minutes of the one-hour qualifying session to go to before running off into the gravel and tipping over. It was a minor off but meant the Australian had to use his second bike for the remainder of the session. With five minutes left the Championship leader took two more tenths out of his provisional pole lap to seal the front row spot with an effort of 1’48.451.

A late push from his team-mate Dani Pedrosa to challenge for the pole position ended with him running off the track and unable to better his time of 1’48.747, though that time set on his penultimate lap was quick enough to grant him a front row start from second position.

Yamaha Factory’s Ben Spies was unfazed by a crash he had in the morning session and posted a lap four-tenths off that of Pedrosa to take the last spot on the front row, while defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo followed just a tenth off his team mate to head up the second row.

Third Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso ranked fifth in the outing and was the last rider within a second of leading man Stoner, with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) again following his fellow countryman and rival on the timesheet, this outing by a margin of 0.156 seconds.

Nicky Hayden, who was on the podium here last year with Ducati, landed seventh on the grid, ahead of rookie Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) and San Carlo Honda Gresini man Hiroshi Aoyama who completed the third row.

Randy de Puniet, who had jumped to the third spot in the timings just before running off into the gravel, finished the session in tenth position, while Valentino Rossi crashed 15 minutes into the session, returning to the outing with 30 minutes to go and setting a best time of 1’49.960 to start 13th on the grid.


The intermediate class qualifying saw Marc Márquez crush the competition as he led the times for the entire session. The young Spaniard’s time of 1’53.296 was 0.684s ahead of second place starter Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar), who crashed at the end of the session but was up and walking away, and 0.708s ahead of Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) who starts on the front row for the first time this season.

Starting from the head of the second row is current Championship leader Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing), who ran off track during a fast lap push in the final minutes and was unable to improve on his time of 1’54.075 which earned him fourth place. Completing the second row is Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2), who follows the Championship leader by a tenth, and Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40), four-hundredths behind De Angelis.

Jules Cluzel (NGM Forward Racing) leads the third row and is the last in the field within a second of Márquez, with Pol Espargaró (HP Tuenti Speed Up) and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing) completing row three. Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) completes the top ten, ahead of Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project).


Héctor Faubel’s last lap flyer earned him pole position in the 125cc category, his first of the season and the Spaniard’s first since 2007. His effort of 1’59.222 bumped Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing), who looked set to be the pole starter, out of the lead by a margin of 0.009s.

Faubel’s team-mate and the current Championship leader Nico Terol had dominated most of the session and was the first to dip under the two-minute mark, leading until the late surges began in the final four minutes. Terol’s time of 1’59.374 has him starting in the third spot on the front row alongside his fellow countrymen.

Morning session leader Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) heads up the second row after setting a time 0.376s off the pole of Faubel. The Frenchman, who is still looking for his first win in the category after finishing second five times this season, is joined by Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) and Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) in the fifth and sixth grid positions and the last two in the field under the two-minute mark.

Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany), who sits just one point behind Viñales in the Championship, will start from row three after finishing seventh fastest, with Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) and Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) completing the third row.

Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) completed the top ten and will head row four, with Adrián Martín (Bankia Aspar) and permanent replacement for Sergio Gadea on the Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing team, Josep Rodríguez, joining the German rider.


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