Stoner thrashes competition and grabs home pole
27 October 2012 – Casey Stoner destroyed the rest of the MotoGP field to seize pole position for his home Grand Prix at Phillip Island. The Australian will share the front row with championship contenders Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, with Cal Crutchlow fourth for Tech 3.
The grid could deliver a curious championship scenario on Sunday. Although Stoner is highly motivated to win at the track and maintain his victory record which stretches back to 2007, he may opt to help Honda team-mate Pedrosa in the championship quest. On Saturday, Stoner’s best effort came in the form of 1:29.623, confirming a huge half-second advantage.
While Stoner was more than fortunate to avoid a high-side accident at Honda Corner, Kris McLaren failed to make the 107 percent qualifying cut. The Australian is riding for Avintia Blusens as a substitute for Jonny Hernández and will now have to push extra hard in tomorrow’s pre-race warm-up period.
Behind third-placed Crutchlow, Stefan Bradl and Andrea Dovizioso complete the second row, while Álvaro Bautista in seventh spot is the last man within two seconds of Stoner’s leading time. Valentino Rossi’s Ducati struggles continued en route to eighth position, but Randy de Puniet put in a storming performance to lead the CRT bikes from ninth.
Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix starts at 3pm local time (GMT +10)