World champion Casey Stoner will start on pole in the Catalunya motorcycling Grand Prix Sunday after the Honda rider posted the quickest time in qualifying under the sun at the Montmelo circuit.
The Australian picked up the 40th pole of his career Saturday and second of the season by edging Spain's Jorge Lorenzo by 0.146sec with Lorenzo's Yamaha teammate, Briton Cal Crutchlow, in third, at 0.253.
Stoner is bidding to win here for the second year in a row in a season which will be his last in MotoGP after announcing at the French MotoGP last month his shock decision to retire.
The 26-year-old set his pole-securing lap time of 1min 41.295 eight minutes from the end of the session.
"We used the qualifying as an extended practice session as we don't always have enough time to do everything during the 45 minute sessions," Stoner told www.motogp.com.
"This morning we did a lot of work with the hard tyre, so in the afternoon in these hot conditions, we worked more with the softer one to get a clearer understanding if we can run with it for race distance.
"Tomorrow, for sure tyre degradation is going to play a role so we're going to have to wait and see but I'm happy to start from pole."
Lorenzo said: "We would have liked to be on pole, but we are happy with the position."
Ducati's Italian star Valentino Rossi was ninth fastest.