Estoril : LCR Honda - Day Two
Honda LCR rider Casey Stoner will start from fifth position on the second row after a brilliant qualifying performance for the Portuguese Grand Prix.
This is Stoner's best qualifying position since he stunned his rivals with pole position
at the Qatar GP in April.
However the session ended in controversy, with Stoner being fined USD$1,000 by Race Direction after a last lap incident involving Spanish rider Dani Pedrosa.
Afterwards, Stoner immediately apologised to Pedrosa for his honest mistake when he slowed down and accidentally baulked Pedrosa's final qualifying run. Stoner was on provisional pole for 45 minutes of the one hour session using race tyres.
His fastest lap of 1'36.702 was just 0.5s off Valentino Rossi's pole position time.
Stoner has been consistently fast during free practice sessions at a sunny and warm Estoril and the LCR Honda RC211V was the fastest bike through the speed trap at 327 kph.
CASEY: “I made an honest mistake and I went to Dani and apologised but I still got fined USD$1,000 and I think it is very unfair. I know what I did wrong -- I just didn't think Dani and the other riders would catch me so fast on my slow down lap. I've never been charged for any bad riding in the past and now, after just one mistake, I get a fine.
Apart from this, everything else has been going very well, we've just made small changes to the bike and I'm very comfortable at this track. I've come here with a relaxed attitude and feeling no pressure.”
LUCIO: “What happened between Casey and Dani was not deliberate, it's a mistake that can happen, just a misunderstanding. For sure Dani was penalised by this problem but Casey went to him in a very professional manner and apologised. For the race, we are very confident , Casey has been impressively fast and consistent in race set-up.”