Skip to main content

Stoner on pole for Portugal MotoGP race

May 5, 2012 -- Updated 1536 GMT (2336 HKT)
Australian motorcycle rider Casey Stoner is second in the MotoGP standings after two races this season.
Australian motorcycle rider Casey Stoner is second in the MotoGP standings after two races this season.
  • Casey Stoner will start first on the grid for Sunday's MotoGP race at Estoril
  • World champion sets the fastest time in Saturday's qualifying session
  • Australian heads a front row of teammate Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow
  • Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo is fourth while Valentino Rossi is ninth

(CNN) -- World champion Casey Stoner has given himself the perfect chance to return to the top of the MotoGP standings after qualifying in pole position for Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix.

The Australian set the fastest time of one minute 37.188 seconds at Estoril on Saturday to head off Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa and British rider Cal Crutchlow.

It was Stoner's second pole position this season and the 35th of his top-level motorcycling career as he bids to close the four-point gap on series leader Jorge Lorenzo.

The Spaniard failed to qualify on the front row of the grid at the circuit for the first time in his career, with Yamaha's 2010 world champion finishing fourth fastest ahead of American teammate Ben Spies and San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista.

Crutchlow's Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Andrea Dovizioso headed the third row in seventh ahead of Pramac Racing's Hector Barbera, who finished in front of seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi to be the top Ducati rider.

Rossi's Ducati teammate Nicky Hayden was 10th, with the American failing to follow up his third-place qualifying effort at the last race in Spain.

Stoner won that event in Jerez, having started fifth on the grid, but finished third in the season opener in Qatar despite claiming pole position.

Saturday's session was marred when French rider Randy de Puniet crashed into Colin Edwards, leaving the 38-year-old American with a broken collarbone.

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.