Casey Stoner continued his domination of the Indianapolis Grand Prix weekend by taking his seventh pole position of the year with a scintillating lap in qualifying.
The championship leader, who had been fastest in two of the three practice sessions that preceded qualifying, was in a class of his own all afternoon as his 1m38.850s lap put him 0.523s clear of his nearest challenger Ben Spies.
Stoner had initially gone fastest early on, but improved his mark on five occasions in order to reach his pole time with three minutes to go. Not only was his time the fastest two-wheeled lap of the circuit in MotoGP history, but it also gave the Honda rider his 29th career pole.
The front row was completed by Spies' Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who lay only eighth at the midway point, but gradually improved on his time - and his posoition - after switching to his spare bike. Significantly the world champion demoted Dani Pedrosa's Honda to the second row with seven minutes remaining.
Andrea Dovisiozo had a quiet run to fifth on his Honda, ahead of Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Marco Simoncelli (Gresini Honda).
Nicky Hayden was the best of the Ducati riders in eighth ahead of Alvaro Bautista's Suzuki and Hector Barbera's Aspar Ducati.
Valentino Rossi had an awful session, the seven-time world champion crashing at Turn 2 early on and having to switch to his spare bike for the rest of the session. Fourteenth was the best the Ducati rider could manage.
Cal Crutchlow, 11th, took a trip through the Turn 13 gravel with a few minutes left, the Tech 3 rider appearing to go straight on in an attempt to avoid Loris Capirossi's slowing Pramac bike. Both the Italian and his team-mate Randy de Puniet ran off the track earlier in the session as well.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Casey Stoner Honda 1m38.850s
2. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m39.373s + 0.523s
3. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m39.629s + 0.779s
4. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m39.947s + 1.097s
5. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m40.024s + 1.174s
6. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m40.098s + 1.248s
7. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m40.204s + 1.354s
8. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m40.244s + 1.394s
9. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m40.333s + 1.483s
10. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m40.360s + 1.510s
11. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m40.620s + 1.770s
12. Randy de Puniet Pramac Ducati 1m40.815s + 1.965s
13. Hiroshi Aoyama Gresini Honda 1m40.925s + 2.075s
14. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m40.975s + 2.125s
15. Toni Elias LCR Honda 1m41.030s + 2.180s
16. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 1m41.085s + 2.235s
17. Loris Capirossi Pramac Ducati 1m41.092s + 2.242s