Casey Stoner will start his final race as a Ducati rider from the front of the MotoGP grid after a typically determined ride in the Valencia sunshine during qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
Stoner struggled to find a set-up he was entirely comfortable with throughout the 45-minute qualifying session, but still took pole by 0.331sec from world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
“This morning we were struggling a little bit with the front because you have to spend a lot of time at this circuit with the bike leaned over, so this afternoon we tried a lot of different things without really finding the right feeling," said Stoner.
"When I went out on a soft tyre I didn't think I'd be able to beat Jorge or Marco [Simoncelli] but it gave me the confidence I needed to go much faster and I set a lap time I was very happy with.
"I actually made a couple of mistakes on my last two laps otherwise I think I could have improved it but the important thing is that I was able to give Ducati another pole position before I sign off.
"There are a couple of sections where we need to improve for tomorrow but other sections that remind me of Phillip Island in the way I can attack them so overall I am comfortable and confident."
The 2007 world champion, the most successful rider of the 800cc era in terms of race wins, will be chasing his 24th Ducati victory on Sunday before moving to Honda.
"It will be an emotional day I'm sure tomorrow but for now my job is to focus on the race and achieving the best result possible.”
Team-mate Nicky Hayden also enjoyed a positive afternoon, qualifying inside the front two rows for the fourth successive race.