Stoner takes MotoGP pole at Sachsenring

Defending champion Casey Stoner will start Sunday's German motorcycling Grand Prix on pole position after topping Saturday's wet qualifying session at the Sachsenring.

The Australian recorded a fastest time of 1min 31.796sec on his final lap to record the 42nd pole of his career, as he pipped American Ben Spies to top spot by 0.193.

Stoner's Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa was third -- 0.285 off the pace.

Stoner has three victories to his name through seven races of this year's World Championship and is level with Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo on 140 points at the summit of the riders' standings.

Stoner, who is retiring at the end of this season, later revealed that he had claimed his fourth pole of the season on a spare bike.

"I was a little bit nervous going out there for the last 10 minutes because I didn't have the best set-up," he reported.

"I am very happy because I didn't think we had done enough to be honest. I wasn't really happy with the way the bike was feeling in the turns but in the end we ended up with pole position."

Lorenzo qualified fifth and will start on the second row of the grid flanked by Britain's Cal Crutchlow and home favourite Stefan Bradl.

Meanwhile, Ducati's Italian star Valentino Rossi was ninth fastest.

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