ESTORIL (Portugal): MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner won his 35th career pole position at Portugal Grand Prix marked by Colin Edwards breaking his collarbone yesterday.
The Australian rode his Honda around the 4.2km Estoril circuit in a session-best one minute 37.188 seconds, for his first pole of the season.
Stoner's teammate Dani Pedrosa, who won here in 2011, had the second fastest lap while Cal Crutchlow of Britain was third.
Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo will start today's race in fourth place, and seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi will start from ninth.
The session's quickest times came after it was temporarily stopped when Randy de Puniet lost control of his bike and blind-sided Edwards, slinging the American rider to the ground. De Puniet emerged with an abrasion to his finger.
Lorenzo leads Stoner by four points at the top of the points standings after two races.
In the Moto2 category, leader Marc Marquez of Spain will start from pole position after recording a lap of one minute 40.934 seconds. Thomas Luthi of Switzerland and Britain's Scott Redding were next.
In Moto3, Sandro Cortese earned his second pole of the season with a best lap of one minute 47.145 seconds. The German rider was followed by Maverick Vinales of Spain and local favourite Miguel Oliveira. AP