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Champ Stoner signals intent for showdown.

WORLD champion Casey Stoner declared his intention to put the brakes on Valentino Rossi's victory run by taking pole position for the Catalunya MotoGP round.

The Australian, on the Ducati Marlboro machine, topped final qualifying with a time of one minute 41.186 seconds around the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.

Stoner, winner at the same circuit last season on his way to the world title, backed up his fastest times in the two practice sessions before qualifying with the best time to ensure home rider Dani Pedrosa did not take pole on the Repsol Honda.

Former champion Nicky Hayden will start from the front row of the grid for the first time this season as the American was third quickest on the second Repsol Honda.

Frenchman Randy de Puniet ignored the pain from a finger injury as he was fourth quickest on the LCR Honda.

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PEOPLE'S CHAMPION: Valentino Rossi in action
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jun 8, 2008
Words:154
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