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Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo stole the show at Motegi with a new pole position record. When all eyes were on teammate Valentino Rossi and reigning World Champion Casey Stoner at the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan, Lorenzo tore up the script in qualifying for a fourth pole position of his rookie MotoGP season.

On course for pole in the final minutes of the Saturday afternoon session, the Spaniard pulled another hot lap from up his sleeve to record a blistering 1´45.543 time in the final seconds of the afternoon run.

Having stepped onto the podium every time that he has taken off from the front row –including at the last two races- Lorenzo is a favourite for a spot on the rostrum at the track where he has only finished in the top three on one occasion.


Ducati rider Stoner will start from the front row for the ninth consecutive race, knowing that he could lose the title on Sunday afternoon. The Australian elected against a late attempt at beating Lorenzo´s marker, not emerging from his garage in the final minutes of the session.

Stoner´s future Ducati teammate Nicky Hayden was the highest qualifying Honda rider for his Japanese manufacturer´s home race, completing the front line. The American made it two Michelin riders on the front row at a track singled out as a Bridgestone track.

World Championship leader Rossi was the first rider outside half a second of teammate Lorenzo´s time, and will start from the head of the second row. The Italian could be crowned 2008 titlist tomorrow with a podium finish, whatever happens to his rivals.

Repsol Honda´s Dani Pedrosa, another rider with a mathematical possibility of taking the title, will line up alongside Rossi, with the racewinner from the past three years at Motegi –Loris Capirossi- rounding off a star-studded second line. Colin Edwards, Randy de Puniet and Shinya Nakano make up the third row for the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan.

Alex de Angelis had a late crash in the session, leaving his bike on the racing line, but it was quickly removed and both he and his fellow riders were unaffected by the incident.

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