Valentino Rossi secured his twelfth front-row start of 2010 in today’s Phillip Island qualifying, narrowly missing out on pole position to Casey Stoner.

With the morning practice interupted by rain, the weather had cleared up by the afternoon to provide a dry qualifying session.

Rossi and Stoner traded places at the front throughout thesession with the Ducati rider finally managing to set a time that was 0.050 seconds faster.

“We are on the front row which is the most important thing and I think we can definitely have a good race tomorrow.” said Rossi.

“We have a few things to check in the morning, depending on the weather, including the final tyre choice – of course we hope for it to be dry. I have a good setting and with the last modification we made I was able to make another step and we were quite fast. The pole position was possible today but unfortunately I made a mistake in the last section on my flying lap and Stoner was able to go a little bit faster than me. We have an advantage on Lorenzo, which is important for the championship points, and I hope that I will be able to fight with Stoner for the win.” he added.

Team Manager Davide Brivio added “So far all the sessions have gone well for us. We’ve got a good starting position for tomorrow and we’re in good shape for the race. As far as our strategy goes, of course we will have one eye on Lorenzo and the championship but also one eye on Stoner and the chance to win the race if possible! The only issue is the late time of the race, because at 4pm it could be quite a lot colder and therefore this might throw up some surprises.”

Team-Mate Lorenzo missed out on the front row by 0.001 seconds as he continued on, still suffering from food poisoning, to take forth place.