2011 MotoGP World Championship leader Casey Stoner took his sixth pole position of the season during Saturday's qualifying session for the German Grand Prix.

The Repsol Honda rider moved ahead of reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo with 16mins of the hour remaining, improving his pole time on several occasions to finish on top by 0.252sec.

Closest to Stoner was team-mate Dani Pedrosa, riding in his second event back from a broken collarbone, with Lorenzo just 0.011sec behind his fellow Spaniard in third for the Factory Yamaha team.

Lorenzo's best and last lap pushed Friday pace setter Marco Simoncelli to fourth, ending the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider's six-race run of front row starts.

Lorenzo's team-mate Ben Spies, battling a head cold this weekend, produced his best performance of the weekend with fifth, ahead of Repsol's Andrea Dovizioso, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Colin Edwards the leading satellite bike rider in seventh.

Nicky Hayden continued to be the top Ducati, albeit in seventh, in a session that saw superstar team-mate Valentino Rossi sink to a new 2011 qualifying low of 16th.

The seven-time MotoGP champion hurt his arm and shoulder in a Friday morning fall, but he experienced no complications - crashes or major machine problems - in qualifying, when he lapped 1.639sec from Stoner.

The only rider slower than Rossi was Pramac Ducati stand-in Sylvain Guintoli.

Rookies Cal Crutchlow and Karel Abraham both fell on their way to twelfth and 13th places.

Crutchlow was lucky not to re-damage his healing collarbone in a fast lowside that sent his Tech 3 Yamaha cart-wheeling through the gravel with four minutes remaining.

Qualifying:

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