Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner secures Silverstone pole

By Tom RostanceBBC Sport at Silverstone

Honda rider Casey Stoner took pole position for Sunday's British MotoGP at Silverstone as home rider Cal Crutchlow suffered a broken collarbone.

Stoner clocked two minutes 2.020 seconds to earn his fourth pole of the season, with Marco Simoncelli second.

Tech 3 Yamaha rider Crutchlow lasted less than five minutes of qualifying before losing the rear end of his bike and falling on to his left shoulder.

Yahama confirmed the 25-year-old will miss Sunday's race.

Defending world champion and current standings leader Jorge Lorenzo finished behind Simoncelli's San Carlo Honda in third place.

Lorenzo's Yamaha team-mate Ben Spies was fourth fastest while Czech rookie Karel Abraham produced a superb performance to take sixth spot.

Spaniard Lorenzo was first to post a quick lap before before Crutchlow's misjudgement early in the qualifying session.

The Tech 3 Yamaha rider was fifth in the morning practice session and had been in the top six all weekend with hopes of a high grid start in his first British MotoGP appearance.

But his prospects evaporated when he was tipped off his bike through the second corner, clutching his left shoulder on the track before he was carried off on a stretcher.

Medical staff quickly assessed that Crutchlow had fractured his left collarbone, the third MotoGP rider to suffer the injury this season, as well as concussion.

He has been sent to Oxford for a scan but Yahama team manager Herve Poncharal is confident he will be fit to return at Assen in a fortnight.

"Cal won't be racing tomorrow which is a big blow for everyone," Poncharal told BBC Sport.

"He was pushing a bit too early on a cold tyre and he has paid a big price for a very small mistake. When you see how quick he had been throughout practice we think he was in line for a top-five position on Sunday - maybe even more.

"We all feel very sorry for all the British fans who came to support him.

"The only good news is that Colin Edwards broke his collarbone just last week and was eighth today so Cal should be back racing and at almost full fitness in Assen."

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa will be absent for the second successive race after sustaining a broken collarbone at the French MotoGP.

Toni Elias also suffered a big crash at Vale corner but walked away unscathed before Lorenzo leapt to the front with a much quicker lap at the half-way point of the session.

Stoner, who will be riding his 150th race at Silverstone, and Simoncelli traded places throughout the session before Stoner - who had been on top all weekend - took pole with a late fast lap.

The 2007 world champion admitted it has been a bad season for injuries and sent his best wishes to Crutchlow.

"It was almost a fairytale how well he was going and it's not fair for him," said the Australian.

"He's been riding really well and he has impressed me no end. This weekend he was one of the faster guys and I have no doubt that he would have been pushing for the front row.

"It's been such an unlucky run of injuries and for Cal at his home grand prix it couldn't have gone much worse. My best wishes go out to him."

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi struggled on his first appearance at Silverstone, his Ducati struggling for pace around the revamped circuit as he finished a disappointing 13th place on the grid.

Lorenzo is seven points ahead of Stoner, who has won three of the five races this season, at the top of the world championship standings.

British rider Scott Redding will start the Moto2 race from second place after another strong showing.

Silverstone MotoGP qualifying results:

1. C Stoner (Aus) Repsol Honda 2'02.020

2. M Simoncelli (It) Gresini Honda 2'02.208

3. J Lorenzo (Sp) Yamaha 2'02.237

4. B Spies (USA) Yamaha 2'02.677

5. A Dovizioso (It) Repsol Honda 2'03.212

6. K Abraham (Cze) Ducati 2'04.151

7. N Hayden (USA) Ducati 2'04.304

8. C Edwards (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha 2'04.508

9. A Bautista (Sp) Suzuki 2'04.520

10. R De Puniet (Fr) Pramac Ducati 2'04.589

11. H Aoyama (Jpn) Gresini Honda 2'04.919

12. H Barbera (Sp) Aspar Ducati 2'05.164

13. V Rossi (It) Ducati 2'05.781

14 T Elias (Sp) LCR Honda 2'05.862

15 L Capirossi (It) Pramac Ducati 2'06.256

125cc qualifying result:

1 M Vinales (Spa) Aprilia 2'14.684

2 N Terol (Spa) Aprilia 2'14.720

3 J Zarco (Fra) Derbi 2'15.266

Moto2 qualifying result

1 M Marquez (Sp) Suter 2'08.101

2 S Redding (GB) Suter 2'08.598

3 S Bradl (Ger) Kalex 2'08.618