Skip to main content

Stoner snatches pole after late dash in final qualifying at Sachsenring

updated 2:24 PM EDT, Sat July 7, 2012
Casey Stoner looks back after setting the fastest lap in qualifying for the German MotoGP.
Casey Stoner looks back after setting the fastest lap in qualifying for the German MotoGP.
  • Casey Stoner on pole for Sunday's German MotoGP
  • Australian sets best time in rain-hit session at Sachsenring
  • Ben Spies second fastest with Dani Pedrosa in third
  • Joint championship leader Jorge Lorenzo back in fifth

(CNN) -- Reigning world champion Casey Stoner emerged on pole at the end of a rain-hit qualifying session at the German MotoGP Saturday.

A downpour led to horrendous conditions for the riders at the Sachsenring and it was only on a drying track that the faster times were set.

Stoner on his Repsol Honda left it to the final moments to snatch first on the grid ahead Yamaha's Ben Spies and his own teammate Dani Pedrosa of Spain.

Britain's Cal Crutchlow continued the favorable impression he is making this season with fourth spot for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team, outqualifying Yamaha's joint-championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, who starts in fifth.

Local favorite Stefan Bradl put up a fine showing in front of his home fans to finish sixth fastest.

Stoner, who has said he will quit at the end of the season, is level on 140 points with Lorenzo at the top of the standings and has improved his title chances as he bids to add to his three wins this season.

He claimed his fourth pole of this year on a spare bike as conditions became more favorable.

"I was a little bit nervous going out there for the last 10 minutes because I didn't have the best set-up," he told the official MotoGP website.

"I am very happy because I didn't think we had done enough to be honest. I wasn't really happy with the way the bike was feeling in the turns but in the end we ended up with pole position."

The tricky conditions led to a number of crashes, with Hector Barbera the most notable casualty, although without serious injury.

Italian ace Valentino Rossi again struggled on his Ducati and was back in ninth spot, while San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista will start from the back of the grid after being penalized for his crash last weekend at Assen where he took out Lorenzo on the first bend.

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
updated 10:59 AM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
updated 11:00 AM EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
updated 11:16 AM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
updated 9:08 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
updated 3:16 PM EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.