Casey Stoner stole pole from Cal Crutchlow at the Estoril circuit in Portugal in the last minutes of the qualifying of the MotoGP session for tomorrow’s race. Stoner’s teammate on the other Repsol Honda, Dani Pedrosa managed to demote Crutchlow to third place on the starting grid for tomorrow’s race. Factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo who is leading in points thus far this season and has an impeccable qualifying record at Estoril held pole for most of the one hour session before being punted off the front row, for the first time in years, by the two Repsol Hondas and the Monster Tech3 Yamaha of Crutchlow. Lorenzo will start tomorrow’s race from fourth place on the grid while his teammate Ben Spies who has been off colour so far this season overcame his own personal gremlins to take fifth on the grid. San Carlo Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista, who is getting more comfortable with the Honda RC213V with every passing race took the sixth spot while Andrea Dovizioso took a lacklustre seventh spot on the starting grid.
In what is definitely a blow to the factory Marlboro Ducati GP 12s, Hector Barbera took eighth on the qualifying grid on his Pramac Ducati which is the GP Zero ahead of the GP 12s of Valentino Rossi in ninth and Nicky Hayden in tenth place. Rookie Stefan Bradl on the LCR Honda took 11th place while 12th went to Team Aspar ART rider Aleix Espargaro who qualified as the top CRT rider.
The session was red flagged when Randy De Puniet lost the front end of his ART motorcycle while being on a flying lap and while falling took out Colin Edwards who was probably cruising back to the pits on his Suter-BMW. While De Puniet was unhurt, Edwards had to be carted off on a stretcher and news from the medical centre says that he may have broken his collarbone.