San Marino GP: Ducati qualifying report

STONER EXTENDS RECORD WITH SEVENTH STRAIGHT POLE. MELANDRI FIFTEENTH Casey Stoner needed just two qualifying tyres to put the seal on his pre-race dominance at Misano this afternoon, the Australian setting his seventh consecutive pole position...

STONER EXTENDS RECORD WITH SEVENTH STRAIGHT POLE. MELANDRI FIFTEENTH

Casey Stoner needed just two qualifying tyres to put the seal on his pre-race dominance at Misano this afternoon, the Australian setting his seventh consecutive pole position to extend a record run in MotoGP. The all-time record in the premier-class dates back to 1997, when Mick Doohan started from the front of the 500cc grid on twelve successive occasions.

The current World Champion performed today under the effects of anti-inflammatory and painkilling medication, with Doctor Costa having also fitted him with a special support designed at limiting the effects of a re-opened fracture to the scaphoid.

Marco Melandri qualified in fifteenth place and reported his satisfaction at the balance of the bike, although he was unable to move any further up the grid after struggling to improve his pace on a qualifying tyre.

CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) Pole position: 1'33.378

"The hand wasn't too much of a problem today although I didn't want to risk working it too hard. There is a bit of bone floating around in there and when my wrist gets into a certain position in some of the corners the nerves get trapped and I get a shooting pain up my arm. I can deal with that though and we have an important job to do this weekend. We found a good setting for the bike this morning but it didn't work as well in the higher temperatures this afternoon, so we had to switch back to something else and it worked much better. We worked so hard on the race setting that we only had time to use two qualifiers at the end instead of the usual three. With the first one I used a new front, which needed a couple of laps to get scrubbed in, so I came in to change the rear and whilst it was good, it wasn't as good as the first one. So, the lap time could have been better but all in all I'm delighted to be on pole again. It's going to be a long, tough race tomorrow but I'm looking forward to it."

MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 15th: 1'35.418

"We've managed to improve the front end of the bike a bit, which is what we wanted, and I'm actually quite satisfied with the balance we've found. The problem is that it is taking us too long to find a good rhythm because over the first six or seven laps I don't have enough grip, especially on the left side of the tyre. A softer compound helps to solve it but we're not sure it can go race distance. We'll check it out in the warm-up tomorrow. It won't be easy tomorrow because at this circuit in particular you have to be fast from the start."

-credit: ducati.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Mick Doohan , Marco Melandri , Casey Stoner