Sun, Oct 23, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Pedrosa edges Stoner for Malaysia pole

Reuters

Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista accelerates out of a turn during qualifying in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Bautista will start eighth in today’s race.

Photo: EPA

Honda’s Dani Pedrosa blazed to pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix ahead of newly crowned MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner in qualifying yesterday.

The Spaniard clocked a fastest lap of 2 minutes, 1.462 seconds on a bumpy Sepang circuit to edge teammate Stoner and claim only his second pole of this season for today’s race.

Pedrosa is currently fourth in the world championship standings on 208 points, chasing Italian Andrea Dovizioso (212) with two races left this season.

Stoner’s best lap was 2 minutes, 1.491 seconds with Dovizioso’s 2 minutes, 1.666 seconds completing a Honda front row in steamy conditions in Malaysia.

Pedrosa did not have things all his own way despite dominating practice, falling at the final corner just 12 minutes into qualifying.

He quickly rejoined the fray, but it took him until 38 minutes into the hour to return to top spot after some jousting between Dovizioso and Marco Simoncelli’s Honda.

Dovizioso briefly snatched it back before Stoner, who captured his second MotoGP title at his home Australian Grand Prix last weekend, set a lap 0.061 seconds quicker.

However, Pedrosa, who was fourth at Phillip Island, would not be denied and reasserted his authority in the final runs.

Yamaha’s Colin Edwards was fourth quickest ahead of Simoncelli and Nicky Hayden’s Ducati.

Seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi took a spill at turn 10, but jumped on his spare bike to claim ninth to sum up a frustrating first season at Ducati.

Switzerland’s Thomas Luthi rode to his maiden Moto2 pole position, while Kalex’s world championship leader Stefan Bradl qualified 34 places ahead of title rival Marc Marquez.

Aprilia’s 125cc world championship leader Nico Terol claimed pole position on the very last lap by just 0.015 seconds from teammate Hector Faubel.

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