SENSATIONAL STONER ON POLE AT THE ISLAND AS MELANDRI STRUGGLES Casey Stoner took his eighth pole position of the season at Phillip Island today and with it claimed the prize of a new car for the "MotoGP Best Qualifier 2008", following an ...
SENSATIONAL STONER ON POLE AT THE ISLAND AS MELANDRI STRUGGLES
Casey Stoner took his eighth pole position of the season at Phillip Island today and with it claimed the prize of a new car for the "MotoGP Best Qualifier 2008", following an entertaining qualifying session that saw a host of different riders battling for top spot on tomorrow's grid.
The Australian got maximum performance from his final Bridgestone qualifying tyre to hold off a four-pronged attack from Michelin, with the low track temperatures - despite bright sunshine - suiting their softer compounds.
There were decidedly different fortunes for his team-mate Marco Melandri, who has been unable to adapt his bike to this demanding circuit layout.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) Pole Position: 1'28.665
"We struggled a little bit this morning with race set-up so we needed this afternoon to sort things out and get the bike working properly on a race tyre. Once we did that I felt pretty confident that we could stick a qualifying tyre in and put a good lap together. This is actually the first time this season we've had three identical qualifying tyres and the first one ran out of grip in the final sequence of left-handers. With the last one I tried to preserve it a bit better by picking the bike up out of the corners earlier and even then it was do-or-die in those final three bends. I thought the lap time would be good enough for a front row start but we ended up on pole position so I'm surprised and extra happy today. This is my home race but there is no pressure on us and I just want to enjoy it. I hope the fans do too."
MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 17th: 1'31.939
"I'm really disappointed because this was supposed to be a good track for us but it's turned out to be even more difficult than the rest. After the problem we had this morning and the crash, which was really strange because I was riding slowly and upright, things didn't improve. Normally I try to brake really hard to make up for the fact we're losing out on corner exit but today I couldn't do that because I had no confidence under breaking. It's a really difficult situation and we'll have to wait and see if we can turn it around for the race."