MUGELLO, ITALY // Jorge Lorenzo underlined his title credentials by claiming a superb pole position for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. The Spaniard moved to the summit of the FIM MotoGP World Championship with victory at Le Mans last time out and maintained that upturn in form today as his lap of one minute 48.987 secs edged out Marlboro Ducati's Casey Stoner by just 0.021 secs.
Lorenzo's Fiat Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi is eyeing his eighth win at Mugello but will have his work cut out from the second row, his time of 1:49.148 good enough only for fourth place behind the flying Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki). The Yamahas dominated for much of the session but Stoner upset the applecart with 15 minutes remaining when he jumped to the top of the timesheets. Rossi responded to take provisional pole but the Italian was upstaged by compatriot Capirossi, who went quickest with just two minutes left in the session.
The Suzuki man's lap was not enough to deprive Lorenzo, however, who sealed the pole with his final run as Stoner fell agonisingly short with his own last-gasp effort. LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet and Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards share the second row with Rossi after both enjoyed strong sessions, while Andrea Dovizioso heads up row three ahead of Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, who struggled with a hip problem.
Toni Elias will line up ninth for Gresini Honda while Scot Honda's Yuki Takahashi completed the top 10. Britain's James Toseland could manage only 14th for Tech 3 Yamaha, but he at least fared marginally better than Marco Melandri (Hayate Kawasaki) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati), who were well off the pace in 15th and 16th respectively. * PA Sport