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casey_stoner_qatar_2011Unsurprisingly, Casey Stoner captured the first pole position of the 2011 MotoGP season today in Qatar, Stoner led all three free practice sessions, and today he was fastest during qualifying, capturing his 27th pole position of his career.

Dani Pedrosa was the only rider who gave Stoner a run for his money, but was still only able to finish .25 seconds back behind his teammate.

Jorge Lorenzo will take the final spot on the front row, but he’ll have a lot of work to do tomorrow if he wants to challenge Stoner for the first win of the 2011 season. The 2010 champion finished .8 seconds behind an amazingly fast Stoner.

Marco Simoncelli put in a few good laps to claim fourth place during the qualifying session. Simoncelli will lead row two, which consists of the other factory Yamaha rider, Ben Spies, and the fastest Ducati on the track, Hector Barbera.

Cal Crutchlow, Colin Edwards, and Andrea Dovizioso were all able to cross the line before Valentino Rossi, who finished more than a second off of Stoner’s pace.

Tomorrow’s race will feature 16 riders, as Alvaro Bautista will not be racing with the Rizla Suzuki team due to an injury.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

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