News24

Stoner takes pole in Valencia

2011-11-05 17:41

Valencia - World champion Casey Stoner won his 12th pole of the MotoGP season at the Valencia Grand Prix on Saturday.

Stoner dominated the field with the fastest lap of 1 minute, 31.861 seconds on the wet 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) Comunitat Valenciana Circuit.

"It was really good for us today considering the difficult conditions with wet patches on the track and constant rain," Stoner said. "We feel good and confident, so we'll see what the weather brings tomorrow."

Stoner's Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa will start second with American rider Ben Spies completing the front row.

"It is important to finish the season well," Pedrosa said.

Sunday's race is the last of the season. Riders of all categories plan to rev their engines for a minute to pay tribute to Italian rider Marco Simoncelli, who was killed in an accident at the Malaysia GP two weeks ago.

Gresini, Simoncelli's team, had his bike on display next to a sign saying "Ciao Sic!"

In the Moto2 category, German rider Stefan Bradl clinched the championship title after nearest chaser Marc Marquez announced Saturday that he would not ride in the last race because of vision problems after crashing in Malaysia.

In the 125cc class, unheralded British rider Danny Webb took his first ever pole with a fastest lap of 1 minute, 45.898 seconds.

Leader Nicolas Terol will start in ninth place. The Spanish rider holds a 20-point lead over Frenchman Johann Zarco and needs an 11th-place finish or better to seal the championship.

Qualifying Results:

1. Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda 1 min 31.861 secs
2. Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 1:32.875
3. Ben Spies (U.S.) Yamaha 1:33.057
4. Randy de Puniet (France) Ducati 1:33.118
5. Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Suzuki 1:33.443
6. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Ducati 1:33.478
7. Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Ducati 1:33.656
8. Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Honda 1:33.824
9. Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati 1:34.186
10. Karel Abraham (Czech Republic) Ducati 1:34.265

AP