Jorge Lorenzo denied Casey Stoner pole position for the United States Grand Prix with a stunning late effort to take the top spot at Laguna Seca.
The Yamaha rider looked odds-on for pole during the closing stages of the session, but was knocked down to second by Stoner as the 2007 MotoGP champion produced a wonderful time of 1m21.175s with five minutes left, and then improved his marker still further to 1m21.169s. However, championship leader Lorenzo was not done and pulled out a sensational 1m20.978s lap with just nine seconds of the session remaining to claim his fifth pole in a row by just under 0.2sec.
Behind Ducati rider Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso claimed the first front-row start of his MotoGP career, the Honda rider moving up from sixth with his final flying lap. His teammate Dani Pedrosa qualified fourth with American Ben Spies (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) completing the second row.
Nicky Hayden was seventh quickest on his Ducati ahead of Colin Edwards (Tech 3). Marco Simoncelli was the best of the Laguna Seca rookies in ninth on his Gresini Honda while Hector Barbera (Aspar Ducati) completed the top 10.
Mika Kallio crashed at the Corkscrew in the final minute on the Pramac Ducati rider's way to 15th while Roger Lee Hayden went off twice after outbraking himself on his LCR Honda.
Pos Rider Team Time Gap
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m20.978s
2. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m21.169s + 0.191s
3. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m21.617s + 0.639s
4. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m21.655s + 0.677s
5. Ben Spies Tech 3 Yamaha 1m21.679s + 0.701s
6. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m21.688s + 0.710s
7. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m21.920s + 0.942s
8. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m22.217s + 1.239s
9. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m22.300s + 1.322s
10. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m22.366s + 1.388s
11. Marco Melandri Gresini Honda 1m22.407s + 1.429s
12. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m22.647s + 1.669s
13. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati 1m22.712s + 1.734s
14. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m22.770s + 1.792s
15. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m23.127s + 2.149s
16. Alex de Angelis Interwetten Honda 1m23.226s + 2.248s
17. Roger Lee Hayden LCR Honda 1m23.764s + 2.786s