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Marlboro Ducati's Casey Stoner has snatched a last minute pole position at the Phillip Island MotoGP round this morning, crossing the line just five one-hundredths in front of series leader Valentino Rossi.

The Australian put in a 1'30.341 lap with his final circuit which was enough to keep The Doctor in second while Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa got up from a 90mph crash into the Southern Loop to take third, seven tenths in arrears.

Stoner set the pace with his first flier, lapping at 1'30.734 with just six minutes gone, which remained the benchmark until the Aussie went back out 18 minutes to go and went even faster with a 1'30.466.


There was nothing the field could do about the home-town hero's pace until Rossi began a run of laps which culminated with him taking top spot with six minutes to go, lapping in 1'30.391. At the same time, Stoner was in the pits, putting in a fresh rear tyre.

After one out lap, the Aussie then crossed the line with a 1'30.386 and then went one better, setting the pole time as Rossi thought he had done enough and cruised back to the pits.

Pedrosa just stole the last place on the front row ahead of Jorge Lorenzo by fractions of a second, which amazing given his accident. As the Repsol Honda man flicked his RC212V left into the Southern Loop, his front tyre cried foul and gave up in a spectacular fashion. Pedrosa got back to the pits, went out on his spare bike and still nicked third place.

Fifth place belongs to Monster Yamaha's Colin Edwards and he is joined by Alex De Angelis to round out the second row. Stoner's team-mate Nicky Hayden is seventh quickest with Randy De Puniet, Mika Kallio and Andrea Dovizioso rounding out the top ten.

Britain's James Toseland ended the session in 12th place after being as high as seventh mid-way through, but is only 1.3s off the pace.

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