The Australian was in phenomenal shape in qualifying for the Gran Premio A-Style de Aragón as he took his second pole of the season, ahead of Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo and the in-form Dani Pedrosa.
Casey Stoner took his first pole since the season opener in Qatar with the top time in qualifying on Saturday at Aragón, setting a scorching pace on the Spanish track. The Australian became the first and only rider to get under the 1’49” mark so far this weekend on board his Ducati Desmosedici GP10, when he posted a best time of 1’48.942 on his penultimate lap of the session.
Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo will start from the front row of the grid for the 15th successive race after maintaining his fantastic qualifying record, which stretches back to the Malaysia round last year. The Fiat Yamaha rider was 0.309s off Stoner with a best time of 1’49.251.
Dani Pedrosa contended for pole throughout the session and the Repsol Honda rider appeared to be en route to taking top spot when he went through the second split on his final lap 0.215s up on Stoner, but the Spaniard was pushing hard and ran wide, eventually placing third at a fraction over four-tenths of a second off the top time.
Consistency has been Nicky Hayden’s strong point this weekend and he only missed out on a front row start by 0.163s, ending the session in fourth place. Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was impressive in fifth as he placed his M1 alongside his fellow American’s Ducati, whilst Randy de Puniet continued to go from strength to strength as he qualified his LCR Honda machine in sixth.
Heading up the third row after coming in seventh on the timesheet Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) was 1.075s from Stoner, with Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) both within a tenth of a second of the reigning World Champion. Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar) completed the top ten