US MotoGP: Casey Stoner upset not to claim pole position

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Casey Stoner admitted he was aggravated after he missed out on claiming his first pole position since the opening race of the 2010 MotoGP campaign.

A fastest lap of 1.21.169 looked to have secured the Aussie his first pole position since the opening race in Qatar back in April.

But he was denied by a superb late attack from runaway world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo.

The Spaniard clocked a best time of 1.20.978 to oust Stoner from top spot by just 0.191s

Stoner, who hasn’t won a race since the Sepang clash in Malaysia last October, said: “We knew we had a chance today to get pole position because everything has been going a little bit better for us this weekend. In general for the last four races we have been quite competitive, but it is race day that’s important. Just to be on the front row is enough for me.

"Going out there we thought the bike feeling was pretty good and we still need to improve. But I thought I should have been able to go a little bit faster than what I did. When I did the first lap I was not that happy because I made a few mistakes and then I did the next lap which wasn’t so good.

"Then the lap after was my best but by that time the tyres were already going down. I wasn’t really able to pull the best out of the bike or myself and I’m a little bit disappointed because I think I could have been a bit closer for the pole. Jorge’s lap was very impressive though but I’m a little bit disappointed not to get pole.”

Stoner’s aggravation manifested from his failure to make any big strides with the set-up of his factory Ducati GP10 machine as the day unfolded.

The 24-year-old added: “We’ve been reasonably fast all weekend. This morning I did 30 laps on the soft tyre and my fastest lap at the end was my fastest lap of the session.

"We’re quite happy with the way things are going with longevity. But the qualifying lap that I did we had exactly the same bike settings that we had on this morning, so we tried a few things this afternoon but it seems to be going that way this season. We normally find a good setting in the first two sessions and then it is so difficult for us to improve it and make the bike work that much better.

"We didn’t really improve the bike at all. We had the same setting from this morning so to be honest I was a bit aggravated that we couldn’t improve the bike or get any better lap times or anymore of a comfortable feeling.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt