Brno : MotoGP qualifying
The World Championship leader Casey Stoner appears to be in unstoppable form again this weekend at the Cardion ab Grand Prix Ceske republiky having taken his fourth pole of the 2007 season - and his third in successive races - 0.280s ahead of World
Champion Nicky Hayden.
Stoner has demonstrated good race pace throughout free practice so far at the historic Czech circuit of Brno and despite some early braking problems in this qualifying session he found the right setting eventually, to add to the poles he has already earned this year at Mugello, Sachsenring and Laguna Seca.
Meanwhile, Hayden's reward for his determination and persistence, in what has been a difficult campaign so far, is his best qualifying position since he won the MotoGP title. If he can find a way of stopping Stoner he has a realistic chance of winning his first race of the year, to make up for his Laguna disappointment before the summer break.
The leading pair will be joined on the front row of the grid by Hayden's Repsol Honda colleague Dani Pedrosa who lapped just 0.015s slower than the American.
Stoner's main title rival Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) has not quite found his rhythm yet this weekend and will start from the back of the second row, where he will be preceded by Rizla Suzuki's John Hopkins (fourth) and Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet (fifth).
The third row will comprise Stoner's Suzuki-bound Ducati colleague Loris Capirossi, the Italian's 2008 team-mate Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki) and Rossi's experienced fellow Yamaha rider Colin Edwards.
Honda Gresini's Marco Melandri misses Sunday's Czech MotoGP contest as he was unable to participate in qualifying due to acute neck pain, while on the other side of the pit-box Toni Elias bravely qualified 14th despite still being far from full fitness following his femur brake at Assen.
DORNA / CAPSIS International