Stoner snatches pole after late dash in final qualifying at Sachsenring
July 7, 2012 -- Updated 1824 GMT (0224 HKT)
Casey Stoner looks back after setting the fastest lap in qualifying for the German MotoGP.
- Casey Stoner on pole for Sunday's German MotoGP
- Australian sets best time in rain-hit session at Sachsenring
- Ben Spies second fastest with Dani Pedrosa in third
- Joint championship leader Jorge Lorenzo back in fifth
(CNN) -- Reigning world champion Casey Stoner emerged on pole at the end of a rain-hit qualifying session at the German MotoGP Saturday.
A downpour led to horrendous conditions for the riders at the Sachsenring and it was only on a drying track that the faster times were set.
Stoner on his Repsol Honda left it to the final moments to snatch first on the grid ahead Yamaha's Ben Spies and his own teammate Dani Pedrosa of Spain.
Britain's Cal Crutchlow continued the favorable impression he is making this season with fourth spot for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team, outqualifying Yamaha's joint-championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, who starts in fifth.
Local favorite Stefan Bradl put up a fine showing in front of his home fans to finish sixth fastest.
Stoner, who has said he will quit at the end of the season, is level on 140 points with Lorenzo at the top of the standings and has improved his title chances as he bids to add to his three wins this season.
He claimed his fourth pole of this year on a spare bike as conditions became more favorable.
"I was a little bit nervous going out there for the last 10 minutes because I didn't have the best set-up," he told the official MotoGP website.
"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."
The tricky conditions led to a number of crashes, with Hector Barbera the most notable casualty, although without serious injury.
Italian ace Valentino Rossi again struggled on his Ducati and was back in ninth spot, while San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista will start from the back of the grid after being penalized for his crash last weekend at Assen where he took out Lorenzo on the first bend.
Part of complete coverage on
Track the new Formula One season as it progresses, circuit by circuit, race by race.
March 14, 2013 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
Can the new F1 season live up to last year's standards? Find out the need-to-know stories for 2013.
March 14, 2013 -- Updated 1148 GMT (1948 HKT)
CNN looks ahead to the Australian Grand Prix, the first F1 race of the 2013 season.
February 28, 2013 -- Updated 1824 GMT (0224 HKT)
Adrian Sutil will be Force India's second driver for the 2013 Formula One season, pledging to make the most of his "second chance".
March 2, 2013 -- Updated 0152 GMT (0952 HKT)
Christmas Abbott, 5'3 and 115 pounds, is the first woman to join a NASCAR pit crew team.
February 12, 2013 -- Updated 0035 GMT (0835 HKT)
The first race in Melbourne is just around the corner and Formula 1 teams are gearing up for a season which promises to be as technical as it is tactical.
March 1, 2013 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
When the new Formula 1 season gets underway in March, for the first time there will be a woman running a team's entire operations from track to boardroom.
January 21, 2013 -- Updated 1222 GMT (2022 HKT)
The Dakar Rally is one of the world's most dangerous motorsport races, and this year's edition has already been marred by tragic deaths.
January 31, 2013 -- Updated 1920 GMT (0320 HKT)
The famous circuit of Nurburgring is confirmed Thursday as the venue for the 2013 German Grand Prix after reaching a deal with F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone.
November 27, 2012 -- Updated 1536 GMT (2336 HKT)
It did not take very long for the inevitable question to be asked -- just how good a driver is Sebastian Vettel?
January 24, 2013 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
Changes to tires will make Formula 1 racing faster with more overtaking in 2013, according to the sport's official tire supplier Pirelli.
November 26, 2012 -- Updated 0935 GMT (1735 HKT)
Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost, and contemporary pacesetters Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso were all contenders.
November 23, 2012 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
Who is the greatest F1 driver of all time? Past and present drivers give their verdict on the contenders to CNN.
CNN has asked Formula One stars past and present, "Who is the best driver of all time?" Now we want to hear from you.
November 20, 2012 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
A triumphant Lewis Hamilton called Sunday's United States Grand Prix the best race of 2012 but for many it was more important than that -- it was Formula One being reborn in the USA.
CNN's Ben Wyatt says Sebastian Vettel or Fernando Alonso will seal their place in F1 history in Brazil this weekend.
November 25, 2012 -- Updated 1941 GMT (0341 HKT)
The F1 title race will be fought over 20 races this season. Keep track of the latest standings in the drivers' and manufacturers' championships.
November 16, 2012 -- Updated 1520 GMT (2320 HKT)
Mario Andretti says the key to rekindling F1 in the U.S. is a buzzword that has been flying around Washington faster than a Ferrari -- stability.
Today's five most popular stories