World championship leader Casey Stoner will start from pole in Sunday’s San Marino MotoGP after recording the fastest time in qualifying on Saturday breaking his own track record, set here in 2008.
The Honda-riding Australian — who comes into the race on the back of his win in the United States last Sunday — timed 1min 33.138sec to erase his former record time by 0.24sec and take pole for the eighth time this season.
Yamaha’s defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo of Spain was 0.12sec slower while another Spaniard, and Stoner’s Honda team-mate, Dani Pedrosa was 0.18sec adrift.
Stoner, world champion in 2007, leads Lorenzo by 44 points but is not envisaging having things all his own way on Sunday.
“Sunday will be a very hard race,” said Stoner.
Lorenzo, however, was almost resigned to having to concede more ground in the title race.
“We will have to be at more than 100 percent tomorrow [Sunday] to beat the Hondas,” he said.