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.
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 1714 GMT (0114 HKT)
Glitz... check, glamor... check. Teams going bust... er, check. F1 generates billion-dollar revenues, so why can't some of its teams stay afloat?
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 1814 GMT (0214 HKT)
With the sport currently facing up to a financial crisis, motorsport journalist Ed Foster explores the history of F1 sponsorship.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
October 12, 2014 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1039 GMT (1839 HKT)
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
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.