Casey Stoner takes pole at Valencia MotoGP

Casey Stoner will start on pole position in Sunday's final MotoGP race of the season - equalling Mick Doohan's record of 12 poles in one year.

The Australian world champion edged fellow Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa of Spain into second by 1.014 seconds at the Tormo circuit in Valencia.

Yamaha's Ben Spies of the United States will start in third place.

Before the race, riders will complete a lap to honour Marco Simoncelli, who was killed in the Malaysian MotoGP.

Riders from all three categories of the championship will leave the pit lane as a group and finish a lap of the track before meeting the Italian's family and fellow team members at the finish line.

The procession will be led by Simoncelli's San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V bike, which will be ridden by 1993 world champion Kevin Schwantz, a close friend of Simoncelli.

Stoner, who secured his second MotoGP title at his home race last month, set a best lap of one minute 31.861 seconds to equal the record of five-time champion Doohan.

He said: "Of course I'm really happy with pole position today, I'm still hungry to win and get pole positions.

"After all that is why I line up to go racing.

"Winning the championship is the bonus at the end of the season, but I still try my best in every session and every race."

Yamaha rider Spies was third behind Pedrosa with a lap of 1:33.057 to claim the final place on the front row.

Britain's Danny Webb took his first pole in the final 125cc race, which will be replaced by the Moto3 category next season.

Earlier, Stefan Bradl was confirmed as the new Moto2 champion after Marc Márquez - the only rider who could catch him - withdrew from the race thanks to injury.

Top Stories