Casey Stoner will start his home race tomorrow as a red-hot favourite to claim a fifth successive victory at the spectacular Phillip Island circuit after he stormed to pole position earlier today.
The Australian set a best time of 1.29.975 to clinch his fifth successive pole in 2011 and his 11th of a brilliant world championship campaign.
The Repsol Honda rider was the only man to break into the 1.29 barrier and he finished a massive 0.473s clear of factory Yamaha rival Jorge Lorenzo.
Stoner can win his second MotoGP world title in tomorrow’s race if he scores 10 points or more than reigning champion Lorenzo, who ended qualifying with a best lap of 1.30.448.
That saw him claim second spot from Italian Marco Simoncelli by 0.151s. The San Carlo Gresini Honda, who had crashed in each practice session at Turn 10, finished with a best time of 1.30.599.
That denied Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista a shock front row as the Spaniard occupied third on the factory GSV-R machine until the final stages. Bautista claimed his first second row start of the campaign though with a best time of 1.30.714.
He set his quickest lap while getting a tow off Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso, who finished fifth with a time of 1.30.780.
Nicky Hayden completes the second row as he finished top Ducati rider. The American was also in the top three at one stage but a lap of 1.30.792 was good enough to secure him his best qualifying result of the season.
Ben Spies clinched a brave seventh place on his factory Yamaha YZR-M1 after he’d suffered a horrifying high-speed crash at Turn 3 in the opening few minutes.
He bounced back superbly to set a best time of 1.30.835 to finish 0.860s behind Stoner.
Dani Pedrosa struggled to get his Honda RC212V machine to run smoothly over some of the bumpy sections at the Phillip Island track and he was a lowly eighth.
Valentino Rossi’s horrendous weekend continued and the nine-times world champion will only start from a lowly 13th on the grid. The Italian struggled again to find a comfortable set-up with his Desmosedici machine and he could only set a best time of 1.31.980. That left him a massive 2.005s behind Stoner, who took pole position on the Ducati a year ago with a best time of 1.30.107.
British rider Cal Crutchlow will start from one place further back in 14th after he encountered major set-up issues with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine.
He ended with a best time of 1.32.023, which was slower than his best practice pace set yesterday afternoon of 1.31.969.
1. 27 Casey Stoner AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 321.4 1'29.975
2. 1 Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 314.9 1'30.448 0.473 / 0.473
3. 58 Marco Simoncelli ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 316.5 1'30.599 0.624 / 0.151
4. 19 Alvaro Bautista SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 319.3 1'30.714 0.739 / 0.115
5. 4 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 320.6 1'30.780 0.805 / 0.066
6. 69 Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team Ducati 314.7 1'30.792 0.817 / 0.012
7. 11 Ben Spies USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 315.7 1'30.835 0.860 / 0.043
8. 26 Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 316.1 1'30.871 0.896 / 0.036
9. 5 Colin Edwards USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 314.2 1'31.237 1.262 / 0.366
10. 65 Loris Capirossi ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 310.3 1'31.583 1.608 / 0.346
11. 14 Randy De Puniet FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 313.9 1'31.635 1.660 / 0.052
12. 7 Hiroshi Aoyama JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 318.9 1'31.889 1.914 / 0.254
13. 46 Valentino Rossi ITA Ducati Team Ducati 315.4 1'31.980 2.005 / 0.091
14. 35 Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 316.5 1'32.023 2.048 / 0.043
15. 17 Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 321.1 1'32.054 2.079 / 0.031
16. 24 Toni Elias SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 321.6 1'32.503 2.528 / 0.449
6 Damian Cudlin AUS Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 303.8 1'36.666 6.691 / 4.163