Casey Stoner needed just two qualifying tyres to put the seal on his pre-race dominance at Misano on Saturday, when the Ducati Marlboro star overcame a wrist injury to set his seventh consecutive pole position, a record in the (four-stroke) MotoGP era.

The all-time record in the premier-class dates back to 1997, when fellow Australian Mick Doohan started from the front of the 500cc grid on twelve successive occasions.

The current world champion's latest pole came with the aid of anti-inflammatory and painkilling medication, plus a special support fitted by Doctor Costa to limit the effects of a re-opened fracture to the scaphoid bone in his left wrist.

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"The hand wasn't too much of a problem today although I didn't want to risk working it too hard," said Stoner, who was a massive 0.510secs faster than nearest rival Valentino Rossi.

"There is a bit of bone floating around in there and when my wrist gets into a certain position in some of the corners the nerves get trapped and I get a shooting pain up my arm. I can deal with that though and we have an important job to do this weekend," he insisted.

"We found a good setting for the bike this morning but it didn't work as well in the higher temperatures this afternoon, so we had to switch back to something else and it worked much better. We worked so hard on the race setting that we only had time to use two qualifiers at the end instead of the usual three.

"With the first one I used a new front, which needed a couple of laps to get scrubbed in, so I came in to change the rear and whilst it was good, it wasn't as good as the first one. So, the lap time could have been better but all in all I'm delighted to be on pole again.

"It's going to be a long, tough race tomorrow but I'm looking forward to it," concluded Casey, who has slipped 50 points behind Rossi after mistakes at the past two races.

Stoner's factory Ducati team-mate Marco Melandri qualified in fifteenth place after struggling to improve his pace on a qualifying tyre.

"We've managed to improve the front end of the bike a bit, which is what we wanted, and I'm actually quite satisfied with the balance we've found," claimed the Italian. "The problem is that it is taking us too long to find a good rhythm because over the first six or seven laps I don't have enough grip, especially on the left side of the tyre. A softer compound helps to solve it but we're not sure it can go race distance. We'll check it out in the warm-up tomorrow. It won't be easy tomorrow because at this circuit in particular you have to be fast from the start."