Estoril pole for Stoner despite difficulties

Australia's Casey Stoner says it was a "difficult" qualifying session despite grabbing pole for Sunday's Portuguese MotoGP, admitting afterwards that his bike was "the worse it's been".

The Repsol Honda rider left it late in the session to record the best lap, with Spain's Dani Pedrosa second and Britain's Cal Crutchlow third.

After qualifying, second-place Pedrosa says he is still hopeful of recording his first win of the 2012 season in Sunday's race.