Casey Stoner is optimistic that his pole position for the Aragon Grand Prix could mark a breakthrough in Ducati's difficult 2010 season, although he said he would not get his hopes up until he had seen what he could achieve in tomorrow's race.
Ducati has not won a grand prix all season, and today's pole in Spain was the team's first since Stoner started from the front in round one at Losail five months ago. The Australian has grown increasingly frustrated with his bike's inability to match pacesetters Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) and Dani Pedrosa (Honda), but was upbeat after beating both in qualifying.
"We've been trying something different every time for the last half dozen weekends and this weekend we might've found something," said Stoner. "Either that or it's just something good for this track. Either way, we're going to be happy.
"Things this weekend have been going a lot better for us. I always enjoy going to a new track and a new challenge, something you haven't done a million laps around is always refreshing. So this weekend we're just going to have to see how the race pans out, see if I can actually run with these guys. But race pace wise, we feel pretty happy. The bike's working well. We'll just have to see if our settings work."
Now 141 points behind leader Lorenzo in the championship, Stoner is hoping to at least salvage a top three position in the final standings. He is currently fifth, nine points behind third-placed Andrea Dovizioso.
"We're trying to fight for third in the championship, but I've lost a couple of points by crashing out of Indy and some less than happy results at Misano in the last race," said Stoner.