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Stoner takes pole for Ducati farewell

6 November 2010

Casey Stoner claimed his 21st and final pole position as a Ducati rider during qualifying for the 2010 MotoGP season finale at Valencia.

The Australian, moving to Honda next season after four incredibly successful seasons at Ducati, was fastest at the beginning and end of the 45-minute session - with world champion Jorge Lorenzo ruling the middle stages.

Fiat Yamaha rider Lorenzo, riding with a special gold helmet, finished the session 0.331sec behind the 2007 champion, and only 0.114sec ahead of Marco Simoncelli.

The MotoGP rookie claimed his first ever MotoGP front row start after a competitive showing throughout the session for San Carlo Honda Gresini. Fourth last time out at Estoril, Simoncelli will be hoping for a debut podium on Sunday.

Valentino Rossi looked in real trouble for much of the qualifying session, slipping as low as 11th out of the 17 riders with one-minute to go, before improving to eighth and then fourth on his last two laps.

Rossi, the outgoing seven time world champion, is making his final start for Yamaha on Sunday before taking Stoner's seat at Ducati.

Rossi will be joined on the second row by 2011 team-mate Nicky Hayden and another American, Ben Spies. Hayden and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Spies are equal on points in the fight for sixth in the final standings.

Spies' team-mate Colin Edwards heads row three, where he will start alongside Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso. Simoncelli's team-mate Marco Melandri completes the top ten on his final MotoGP appearance.

Carlos Checa, who retired with arm-pump at half race distance on his MotoGP return last weekend at Estoril, managed to qualify ahead of Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista.

Qualifying:

1. Stoner
2. Lorenzo
3. Simoncelli
4. Rossi
5. Hayden
6. Spies
7. Edwards
8. Pedrosa
9. Dovizioso
10. Melandri
11. de Puniet
12. Espargaro
13. Barbera
14. Capirossi
15. Aoyama
16. Checa
17. Bautista


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