Casey Breaks Yet Another Record With Tenth Pole Of The Season
Casey Stoner is decided to secure the MotoGP title as soon as possible and, after the second day of practice at the Japanese Grand Prix, the Australian showed again that he is ready to fight for victory in tomorrow’s race, after getting the fastest time in the qualifying. It’s his tenth pole position of this year, a feat that no other rider had achieved in the MotoGP era, and he did that setting the record of the Japanese track. From the other side of the first row will start Dani Pedrosa, who finished fourth today, without possibility to take advantage of his bike’s potential with the soft tyres in the final qualifying.
Stoner had already warned in the third session of free practice held this morning, where the three riders of the Repsol Honda Team were again in the first three position, with the Australian on top of the time sheets, followed by Dovizioso and Pedrosa. Again with the threat of rain, the MotoGP riders started to work from the first minutes of the qualifying, where the World Championship leader showed again his most dominant side.
The Australian of the Repsol Honda Team was the first to get below 1 minute and 47 seconds. Nevertheless, he was soon overtaken by Jorge Lorenzo, first, and Dani Pedrosa, later. Stoner’s counterattack did not take long to arrive and he reduced seven tenths in one shot, stopping close to the 1 minute and 46 seconds barrier and reducing the morning times after only 10 minutes. A barrier that was broken seconds later by Dani Pedrosa, who spearheaded the session until the last few minutes, when the times were reduced again.
First Stoner, after Lorenzo, and even Andrea Dovizioso got below 1 minute and 46 seconds, but two minutes before the end, Stoner stopped the clock in a definitive 1 minute, 45 seconds and 267 thousandths, breaking the record of the track that had been set in 2008. With this time, the Australian became the MotoGP rider with more poles in one season, entering a selective group of 5 riders that have set the best time in qualifying 10 times in the same year (Anton Mang in 1981 with a 250c.c., Freddie Spencer in 1985 with the wild 500c.c., Wayne Gardner in 1987 also in 500c.c. and Jorge Lorenzo in 2006, in 250c.c.), two poles from the 12 achieved by Marc MÃƒÂ¡rquez in 2010 with the 125cc, and Mick Doohan, 1997 in 500.
Behind the Australian of the Repsol Honda Team, his team mate Andrea Dovizioso completed a good qualifying practice, securing a place in the first row of the starting grid after setting the third fastest time. Pedrosa, after being very competitive during the weekend, was not able to fight for the best time in the last minutes. With the soft tyre used at the end of the session, his bike skidded a bit behind and that prevented him from being in the first row.
FP3 – 1:46.162, 18 laps, 86 km.
QP – 1:45.267, 21 laps, 101 km.
“Everything has gone very well so far this weekend, we’ve been fastest in all but one session so it’s been fantastic. We tried a few different settings this afternoon and didn’t really improve so we’ll probably go back to this morning’s setting for tomorrow.
We’ll have to watch the weather as this will affect the set up, there’s also a chance of rain so it could get complicated. Jorge [Lorenzo] has been riding fantastic, as has Dovi and Dani [Pedrosa], but there is no doubt that the Honda suits this track, I’ve been looking forward to riding it here for a while now and I’m not disappointed!
Tomorrow will be a tough race, but the team is working hard and we’ll do our best”.