Seven in a row for pole man Stoner in Misano Ducati's Casey Stoner has stormed to a seventh consecutive pole position in today's qualifying session at the Misano World Circuit, taking the top spot by a half-a-second. Stoner has been quickest...
Seven in a row for pole man Stoner in Misano
Ducati's Casey Stoner has stormed to a seventh consecutive pole position in today's qualifying session at the Misano World Circuit, taking the top spot by a half-a-second.
Stoner has been quickest in every practice session of the weekend so far and his pole time today represented a six-tenth-of-a-second improvement over his Misano pole time from last season on the slightly shorter circuit layout.
It is the eighth pole position of the season set using Bridgestone tyres in a session that was split evenly between the tyre manufacturers with five Bridgestone-shod riders in the top ten.
Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi took second place for his home grand prix, his eighth front row start of the season. He will line up on the front row of the grid alongside his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo who was third this afternoon.
Alice Team's Toni Elias, who took a sensational second place in Brno two weeks ago, claimed his best qualifying result of the year so far with a similarly impressive fifth place on the grid. Podium finisher at Misano twelve months ago, Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen took seventh position, while Shinya Nakano took a second consecutive eighth-place on the grid for the San Carlo Honda Gresini team.
Bridgestone has also continued evaluation of its tyre range for this weekend in today's two sessions, working in conjunction with its six teams, as they strive to find the optimum set-up for their machines around the 4.226km circuit. No significant long runs were conducted today so it is difficult to predict how the race tyres will perform over the 28 laps that will make up the race distance on Sunday afternoon.
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
You must be pleased with that qualifying performance?
"I think that is one of our strongest dry weather qualifying performances of the season and several of our riders are in good positions for the race. Casey's lap was quicker even than his pole time from last year and the fact that he has now set seven pole positions in a row is a fantastic achievement. Valentino also got the most out of his machine and tyres to take second place which will set him up well for his home race. A special mention must also go to Toni who has been on excellent form on both race and qualifying tyres today. All in all it was a nicely balanced result with eight different teams in the top ten and a 50-50 split between tyre manufacturers."
How is the race tyre performance?
"We have seen an improvement in our initial performance level compared to last year's race and some of our riders appear to be competitive. The teams have been working hard to improve and tune the set-up of their machines for this circuit so we have not carried out any longer runs today. With track temperatures reaching fifty degrees, tyre durability will be a key factor tomorrow afternoon, but I hope we can live up to the challenge. Based on the practice results, it promises to be a closely-fought race."
Weather: Dry - Air 32C, Track 45C (Bridgestone measurement)