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Page last updated at 06:21 GMT, Saturday, 17 October 2009 07:21 UK

Stoner overhauls Rossi for pole

Australian MotoGP, Phillip Island
Date: 17-18 October
Sunday 18 October: 125 & 250 cc: 0250-0505, BBC Red Button/online; Main race: 0545-0700, BBC One/online; Race repeat: 1200-1300, BBC Two/online

Ducati's Casey Stoner
Stoner put in a late flying lap to edge out Rossi at Phillip Island

Casey Stoner took pole position at his home Australian MotoGP after edging world champion Valentino Rossi in Saturday's close qualifying session.

Stoner, seeking a third win at Phillip Island in as many years, clocked one minute 30.341 seconds, with Rossi just five hundredths of a second slower.

Honda's Dani Pedrosa was third-fastest, with Rossi's Yamaha team-mate and title rival Jorge Lorenzo fourth.

Stoner's pole is his first since the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.

Rossi had knocked the Ducati rider off top spot in the final 10 minutes of the session, but Stoner hit back with the best time of the day.

"The past two years here our bike's been perfect due to the fact that we normally have very good traction here," he said.


"This year we have improved the turning in the long corners, but we've lost the rear grip coming out of the corners, so we've been working all weekend to try and improve that, but the general bike's been perfect.

"We'll just see what we can do tomorrow."

Two weeks ago, Stoner sealed a second-place finish in Portugal on his return from a three-race lay-off through a mystery illness.

Despite his health problems this season, Stoner still lies fourth in the championship standings.

Rossi leads Lorenzo by 18 points with three rounds remaining and was happy enough with his qualifying effort.

"Today we worked well on the bike, we found a good setting, and I am quite fast," he said. "But it's a pity because it was possible to take pole position but I made a mistake and Casey beat me.

"But from the championship point of view it is OK because I'm faster than Jorge. We have a good advantage, so I hope tomorrow to fight for the victory with Casey."

Britain's James Toseland will start 12th on the second Tech 3 Yamaha.

Australian MotoGP qualifying result:

1 C Stoner (Aus) Ducati 1min 30.341secs,
2 V Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 1:30.391
3 D Pedrosa (Sp) Honda 1:31.070
4 J Lorenzo (Sp) Yamaha 1:31.071
5 C Edwards (USA) Yamaha 1:31.096
6 A de Angelis (SM) Honda 1:31.260
7 N Hayden (USA) Ducati 1:31.325
8 R de Puniet (Fr) Honda 1:31.380
9 M Kallio (Fin) Ducati 1:31.384
10 A Dovizioso (Ita) Honda 1:31.472
11 T Elias (Spa) Honda 1:31.640
12 J Toseland (GB) Yamaha 1:31.722,
13 L Capirossi (Ita) Suzuki 1:31.873,
14 M Melandri (Ita) Kawasaki 1:32.190
15 C Vermeulen (Aus) Suzuki 1:32.338

250cc qualifying result:

1 R de Rosa (Ita) Honda 1min 33.389secs
2 M Simoncelli (Ita) Aprilia 1:33.614
3 H Aoyama (Jpn) Honda 1:33.633

125cc qualifying result:

1 P Espargaro (Spa) Derbi 1min 37.770secs
2 N Terol (Spa) Aprilia 1:38.049
3 J Simon (Spa) Aprilia 1:38.067

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see also
Stoner keen to impress home fans
15 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Smith ready for Australian heat
15 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Steve Parrish's MotoGP column
14 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Stoner feat puts Lorenzo in shade
03 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Lorenzo wins to reduce Rossi lead
04 Oct 09 |  MotoGP

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