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MOTORSPORTS > Stoner on pole spot for Dutch Moto GP

ASSEN, Netherlands - Agence France-Presse

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Honda’s Australian rider Casey Stoner will start from pole in Saturday’s Dutch Moto GP after posting the fastest time in qualifying here on June 28.

Stoner earned the 41st pole position of his career -- his 37th in Moto GP -- by a margin of 115 thousandths of a second from Spanish teammate Dani Pedrosa.

Another Spaniard, Jorge Lorenzo, was third fastest in a session that was twice stopped because of the rain falling on the track.

Pedrosa had posted the quickest lap ahead of Lorenzo and Italy’s Andrea Dovizioso before the riders were forced inside for the first time on the day.

Stoner languished in ninth position when the second rain break intervened but, in the final five minutes of the session, the Australian, using soft tyres, surged up to third place and then moved to the top of the standings with a time of 1min 33.713sec.

Stoner currently sits second in the overall standings, 25 points behind championship leader Lorenzo.
In what will be his final race at Assen before retiring at the end of the season, Stoner is looking for his second win here to add to his victory in 2008.

Last year’s winner here, Ben Spies of Yamaha, will start from sixth on the grid, with Germany’s Stefan Bradl of LCR Honda fourth, and Britain’s Cal Crutchlow in fifth.

June/30/2012

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