AFP - Australia's Casey Stoner, riding a Ducati, took pole position for Sunday's season-opening Qatar MotoGP after dominating qualifying here under the Losail desert floodlights.
World champion Valentino Rossi was second fastest with his Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo in third place.
Stoner, the winner here for the last two years and the 2007 world champion, clocked 1min 55.286sec with Rossi 0.473sec behind and Lorenzo 0.497sec off the pace.
Italy's Andrea Dovizioso, on a Honda, was fourth quickest.
Stoner's Ducati teammate, former world champion Nicky Hayden of the United States suffered a nasty fall in the closing stages to mark his 100th grand prix in bruising style.