STONER ON POLE AND HAYDEN ON SECOND ROW FOR SEASON FINALE2009-11-07 12:52
Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner will start the final round of the 2009 MotoGP World Championship from the front of the grid after a dominant performance in today’s single qualifying practice for the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana. The Australian was rarely troubled at the top of the time sheets, whilst his team-mate Nicky Hayden was also impressive as he lapped sixth fastest in a late charge.
Today’s result sees Hayden maintain his record of never qualifying outside the front two rows at Valencia, the circuit where he clinched the 2006 title, whilst for Stoner this is his second pole position at the Spanish track in successive seasons. Tomorrow the 2007 World Champion chases a repeat of his win here last year and a hat-trick of back-to-back victories to round off the 2009 season.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) (1st; 1’32.256)
"We’ve been fastest in every session so far so we have to be pleased with that and the fact we were able to do most of the lap times we did on a race tyre today is a good sign. I felt pretty comfortable out there but one of the softer rear tyres pushed the front that bit harder and it folded on me in four or five corners. It’s a shame because potentially we could have gone that bit quicker but I can’t complain. We’re on pole position again, in good shape for the race tomorrow and looking forward to it. Hopefully the weather holds out because it would be nice for everybody to end the season with a good race.”
NICKY HAYDEN – (Ducati Marlboro Team) (6th; 1’33.154)
“We have made a lot of progress from yesterday but we have had to work hard and make huge changes to the bike. I know it’s not usually a good sign when you can’t roll something competitive out on a Friday but that’s what we’re aiming for and for the moment my team are doing a great job in the time we have available. The bike was more much enjoyable to ride today and after being fifth this morning I was hoping for the same result this afternoon because that is my worst qualifying result here at Valencia. We’ll take sixth though – it’s not my best qualifying position but from where we started the year in Qatar I think I was last on the grid and in the hospital so to end it with a second-row start is pleasing. Tomorrow is going to be a tough one as always but we’ll try to get a good start, make sure we don’t get squeezed in down in turn one and have some fun. I’m looking forward to it.”
Circuit Record: Casey Stoner (Ducati - 2008), 1’32.582 – 155.732 Km/h
Best Pole: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha - 2006), 1’31.002 – 158.436 Km/h
2009 Pole: Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1’32.256 – 156.282 km/h
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