Australia’s world champion Casey Stoner, of Honda, will start on pole in Sunday’s final Moto GP race of the season at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
Stoner edged fellow Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, of Spain, into second by a margin of just 1.014 seconds.
Yamaha’s Ben Spies, of the United States, will start from third on the grid.
Frenchman Randy de Puniet followed up an impressive showing on a drenched track in Friday practice by taking fourth place, his best performance of the season.
Andrea Dovizioso, another teammate of Stoner’s, took eighth place, but only after suffering a crash and a tumble right at the end of the qualifying session.
Luckily, he was able to get up and walk away immediately and will go into Sunday’s race looking to hold on to third place in the overall standings ahead of Pedrosa.
Sunday’s race will be Dovizioso’s last on a Honda before he leaves to join French team Tech 3 — who use Yamaha engines — next season.
Another Italian, Loris Capirossi (Ducati) qualified 12th for what will be the last race of his 22-year career.
The race will be the first since Italian rider Marco Simoncelli was killed at the Malaysian Grand Prix a fortnight ago.