Repsol Honda press release
Casey Stoner today secured his eleventh pole position of the season and the fourth consecutive at the Phillip Island circuit after leading all three practice sessions.
The young Australian, who celebrates his birthday tomorrow on race day set a fantastic lap time of 1'29.975, with substantial gap of 0.473 to second place Lorenzo. Tomorrow he will be looking to fight for his fifth consecutive win on this circuit, in front of his home fans.
Andrea Dovizioso managed to improve his feeling with his RC212V and it was reflected in his pace and position on the grid. The Italian rider was 0.8 tenths faster today than yesterday and will start fifth on the grid. Dani Pedrosa took some steps forward compared to yesterday, but his lack of rear grip is still causing him problems. He will be aiming to fight for another podium starting from eighth position on the grid.
Tomorrow, Casey Stoner could potentially clinch his second World Championship. If he is able to score 10 points or more than title contender Jorge Lorenzo, he will seal the Championship with two races remaining. Honda will also be hoping to see at least one of their machines take a top three spot, this would be enough for them to be awarded the Constructor's Championship, their 60th in Grand Prix racing.
CASEY STONER - 1st 1'29.975
"So far so good, we have a good race pace and the bike's feeling pretty good at the moment. We still need to improve the rear grip, but I think this is the same for everyone, we'd also like to get the harder rear tyre working better for the race. We began Qualifying with older tyres to understand where we are for the race and I'm quite happy as the lap times we were achieving were similar to Jorge and Dani who were on the new soft tyre. Then we put on the soft tyre for the first time since yesterday morning, everything felt good and we were able to improve our lap time consistently, but it's still difficult on the left side of the tyre and we're getting a lot of spinning and tyre degradation. We'll see what the weather does tomorrow, it's not looking too good right now but we'll adapt to whatever it throws at us. Jorge is strong everywhere we go and I think my chances of taking the Championship here tomorrow is pretty slim to be honest, we're just going to go out there and concentrate on winning the race".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO - 5th 1'30.780
"I'm very happy with qualifying because we made a big improvement which we needed to do for the race. We know there are many riders capable to fight for the podium, but now we are ready. Here it is always a very difficult race with the weather conditions, but I'm satisfied now because I can do low 1'31 laps with the hard rear tyre and hopefully we can return back on the podium. I had a much better feeling in the front and I was riding more aggressively, something you really need at this track".
DANI PEDROSA - 8th 1'30.871
"I had some problems with the hard tyre and I wasn't able to be fast. Then when I put the soft on I improved my lap time a lot and was on top with fifteen minutes to go. Then we changed the set up of the bike a little and unfortunately it didn't work, so when everybody improved the lap time I couldn't and I was back to eighth place. The main issue I had today was changing direction in high speed areas. Let's see what the weather brings tomorrow and if we can take profit from the warm up to improve the set up slightly. I'm feeling much more comfortable with the soft tyre, so we will see tomorrow if we can use it for the race or not depending on the temperature and weather conditions".