MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner led the pack in qualifying times again on Saturday, in Valencia, topping the next fastest rider by a 1/2 second. The pole position secured, despite already having been crowned champion 2 races ago, and under the cloud of Marco Simoncelli’s death 2 weeks ago looming over the proceedings. The race will continue as planned, after the cancelled event in the last race, after Marco Simoncelli’s fatal crash brought the red flag. There is no doubt that emotions will run high, and that the race will be overshadowed by the fact that one of the sport’s rising stars, as well as several others, will be missing from the grid. This is the last event of the 2011 season, in which Casey Stoner clinched the top honors on his home court in Australia. This will also be the last event that the bikes are run at 800cc, when next year 1000cc bikes will be the standard for the top class.