Stoner storms to pole at Valencia
A superb qualifying display from the Ducati rider sealed him pole position for the final race of 2010 ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Marco Simoncelli, the latter of whom secured his first front-row start. Valentino Rossi will start the race from fourth.
Casey Stoner put on a stunning display in his final qualifying session with Ducati to take pole position for the last race of the 2010 season at Valencia, posting the only sub-1'32" lap of the weekend so far in a strong 45-minute run. The Australian's hot lap of 1'31.799 left him 0.331s clear at the top of the timesheet, and came after he had dealt with an early run-off as he pushed hard for his fourth pole of the campaign.
World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, sporting a special edition helmet for the final-round occasion, followed Stoner onto the front row with a best effort of 1'32.130 on his Fiat Yamaha M1 having led for a large portion of the session.
Carrying his progress from the practice sessions into qualifying was Marco Simoncelli and the Italian rookie's display was rewarded with his first front-row start in the premier class. The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider was just over a tenth of a second off Lorenzo.
A late surge from Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) placed the Italian fourth (+0.531s on Stoner) as he battled to find enough pace to challenge near the top end, with American duo Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) and Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) also taking places on the second row of the grid.
Completing the top ten in the session were Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini).
Sunday's season-ending Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana gets underway at 2pm local time.