Stoner takes final Ducati pole in Valencia
6 November 2010 – Casey Stoner has picked up pole position ahead of his final race for Ducati. The 2007 title winner edged out current Champion Jorge Lorenzo’s Yamaha in Valencia on Saturday afternoon, with Marco Simoncelli’s Gresini Honda making the top three ahead of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.
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-1:32.000 lap of the weekend so far in a strong 45-minute run.
The Australian’s hot lap of 1:31.799 left him 0.331 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 (+0.531 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 Grand Prix of Valencia begins at 2pm local time (GMT +1)