7 Nov 2010

Stoner takes pole in Valencia

5:45 am on 7 November 2010

Casey Stoner has taken pole position ahead of new champion Jorge Lorenzo for the final race of the 2010 MotoGP season, with a sizzling lap in qualifying for the Valencia Grand Prix.

The Australian was the only rider to break the one minute 32 second barrier, rounding in 1 minute 31.799, with Lorenzo of Spain in second.

Stoner's fourth pole of the campaign came after he suffered an early run off in qualifying, and puts him in a strong position to finish his four-year stint with Ducati on a high before switching to Honda for next season.

Lorenzo, who wrapped up the world title in Malaysia last month, is gunning for his first ever win in any class in Valencia, in front of his own fans.

Italian Marco Dovizioso completes the front row, with 2009 champion Valentino Rossi leading the second row ahead of American duo Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies.

Spaniard Dani Pedrosa is the strongest placed to grab the runners-up slot in the championship, leading third-placed Rossi by 19 points, but will start the race from eighth on the grid.

There are 25 points for a win.