Casey Stoner on pole in Portugal

Australian rider Casey Stoner is the fastest in qualification while championship leader Jorge Lorenzo starts in fourth.

    Casey Stoner on pole in Portugal
    After finishing second last season, Stoner is looking for his third MotoGP title this year [GALLO/GETTY]


    MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner won his 35th career pole position at Saturday's Portugal Grand Prix marked by Colin Edwards breaking his collarbone.

    The Australian rode his Honda around the 4.2-kilometer (2.6-mile) Estoril circuit in a session-best 1 minute, 37.188 seconds, for his first pole of the season.

    Stoner's teammate Dani Pedrosa, who won here in 2011, had the second fastest lap while Cal Crutchlow of Britain was third.

    Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo will start Sunday's race in fourth place, and seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi will start from ninth.

    The session's quickest times came after it was temporarily stopped when Randy de Puniet lost control of his bike and blind-sided Edwards, slinging the American pilot to the ground. De Puniet emerged with an abrasion to his finger.

    Lorenzo leads Stoner by four points at the top of the points standings after two races.

    In the Moto2 category, leader Marc Marquez of Spain will start from pole position after recording a lap of 1 minute, 40.934 seconds. Thomas Luthi of Switzerland and Britain's Scott Redding were next.

    In Moto3, Sandro Cortese earned his second pole of the season with a best lap of 1 minute, 47.145 seconds. The German rider was followed by Maverick Vinales of Spain and local favorite Miguel Oliveira.

    SOURCE: AP


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