Casey Stoner further enhanced his reputation as ‘King of the Island’ after slinging his Repsol Honda RC213V around the Phillip Island circuit in a time of 1’29.623 in Qualifying to seize pole position for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix.

Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Once again Stoner was the only rider to lap in the 1’29 bracket today and his pole position time was over half a second quicker than Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, whose time of 1’30.140 secured second place on the grid. Rounding out the front row in third place was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who along with Lorenzo, were the only riders able to lap within one second of Stoner’s benchmark time. Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet showed remarkable pace today to be the top CRT qualifier with a time of 1'31.667 slotting him into ninth place.

Cloud cover and a strong breeze blowing from the sea kept temperatures low and directed intermittent rainfall over the circuit resulting in challenging track conditions for the riders. Today’s peak track temperature of 25°C was 5°C cooler than during yesterday afternoon’s FP3 session, thus necessitating the use of softer compound options front and rear. As a result of the frigid temperatures, some riders did not undertake planned evaluation runs on the harder front and rear slicks.

Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department “We had even cooler conditions than yesterday along with some wind and rain, so tyre choice for FP3 and Qualifying was similar to the first two practice sessions. Some riders did use the harder rear slick during qualifying but the cold conditions meant they soon reverted to the softer rear slick to ensure maximum grip from the rear tyre. Even though conditions prevented their use today it appears that some riders will use the harder slick options for the race, though at this stage I expect the majority of riders to use the softer slicks front and rear. However, the weather forecast for tomorrow predicts warmer temperatures and if this does happen, then perhaps more riders will try the harder slicks in morning warm-up to assess their potential for the race.”

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)

Weather:
FP3 - Dry. Ambient 14-15°C; Track 22-25°C (Bridgestone measurement)
QP - Dry. Ambient 15-15°C; Track 25-25°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Source: Bridgestone