Newly crowned double world champion Casey Stoner claimed the final pole position of the 800cc era by over one-second at Valencia on Saturday.

Spots of rain kept lap times slower than this morning until the final five minutes, when a sideways Stoner improved on his provisional pole time - then did so again to build an advantage of 1.014sec over Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

It was Stoner's twelfth pole of the season.

Completing the front row will be factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies, who overcame his heavy Friday fall to snatch third place on his very final lap. The Texan was 0.182sec slower than Pedrosa.

Randy de Puniet continued his impressive weekend and was only denied a shock front row start by Spies' last effort. The Pramac Ducati rider will nonetheless had row two, where he will be joined by Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista and Ducati's Valentino Rossi.

Rossi, using a special helmet combining Marco Simoncelli's red and white at the front with his usual design at the rear, was 1.6sec slower than Stoner.

Team-mate Nicky Hayden qualified in seventh place, while Andrea Dovizioso had a heavy fall at the end of his final qualifying session for Repsol Honda and will line-up in eighth place tomorrow.

Dovizioso is four points ahead of team-mate Pedrosa in the fight for third in the championship behind Stoner and the absent Jorge Lorenzo.

Hector Barbera overcame an early technical problem to qualify ninth for what looks like being his final ride for Aspar Ducati, with fellow satellite Desmosedici rider Karel Abraham, completing the top ten,

Abraham will start one place ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow and the pair will battle for rookie of the year honours on Sunday.

de Puniet's team-mate Loris Capirossi - using Simoncelli's #58 - will start his final MotoGP race from twelfth on the grid, followed by LCR Honda's Toni Elias and Honda Gresini's Hiroshi Aoyama.

The last two places on the grid will go to replacement riders Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha) and Josh Hayes (Tech 3). The pair qualified four-seconds from Stoner and one second behind Aoyama. Nakasuga tipped off his M1 while performing a u-turn at the end of the session.


1. Stoner
2. Pedrosa
3. Spies
4. de Puniet
5. Bautista
6. Rossi
7. Hayden
8. Dovizioso
9. Barbera
10. Abraham
11. Crutchlow
12. Capirossi
13. Elias
14. Aoyama
15. Nakasuga
16. Hayes


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment