Valentino Rossi believes his chances of ending Casey Stoner's Qatar win steak will depend very much on if he can stay with the Ducati stay in the opening laps of Sunday's race.

Stoner is unbeaten at Losail since 2006 and has led every track session so far this weekend, claiming pole by 0.355sec over reigning seven time MotoGP champion Rossi.

"I'm really happy about the work we've done today on our set up and now we have a good race pace with the hard Bridgestone tyres. With the soft one the rear is still sliding a little bit too much, but I think for the race we are okay.

"A strong start is going to be very important and we will have to push hard on the first lap to try to stay close to Stoner, who is always very strong here. Honestly I think it will be tough to beat him but we will try our best!"

"The starting position is good and tomorrow we'll just try from the start to stay with Stoner and see how the race develops," confirmed team manager Davide Brivio. "It will be interesting!"