Phillip Island : MotoGP - Qualifying
As a number of riders chip away at his championship lead, Nicky Hayden this week emphasised his desire to “stop the bleeding” with a good result in Australia.
The Kentucky Kid came out fighting in the qualifying session at Phillip
Island and took his first pole of the season this afternoon, giving him the early advantage for tomorrow's GMC Australian Grand Prix.
The fastest of a tightly-packed top three, Hayden clocked a time of 1'29.020 to put him ahead of a phenomenal Shinya Nakano and title rival Valentino Rossi.
The Italian could perhaps have been even further up the timesheets if he hadn't have gone off track moments before his hot lap.
Kenny Roberts Jr and Colin Edwards put three Americans in the top six, ahead of one of the weekends most impressive performers, Carlos Checa.
Marco Melandri, discreet during the practice sessions, took seventh in front of local rider Casey Stoner. The first eight were all within a second of each other as they looked for higher grid positions for tomorrow's race.
Randy de Puniet dropped down the standings after riding fastest in practice, and will start from ninth ahead of walking wounded Spanish rider Dani Pedrosa.
DORNA / CAPSIS International