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Stoner surprised by qualifying slump

Casey Stoner, Ducati, Indianapolis 2010Casey Stoner admitted he was surprised to be so far down the Indianapolis Grand Prix grid - but expects to regain the lost ground in tomorrow's race.

While his Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden fought for pole and will start third, Stoner had to settle for a distant sixth on the grid.

The Australian said Ducati had got its practice tactics wrong, and while it had been quickest in both sessions before qualifying, it was ill-prepared for the final pole shoot-out.

"I'm not very happy with this afternoon's qualifying session, we expected to be a little faster," Stoner conceded.

"During the session we struggled to find the grip with the hard tyre so we spent a lot of time trying to fix it and unfortunately we tried a couple of different things and then when we switched immediately to soft tyres we had trouble with the setting and we didn't have a lot of feeling."

Stoner is confident that he will make rapid progress through the field once in race trim, though.

"I'm a little disappointed for sure but I think we can expect a little bit better race pace, so I'm confident enough for tomorrow," he said.

"I think we should have a bit better race pace than some of the riders in front of us today."

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