MOTEGI, Japan, Oct 1, 2011 (AFP) - Australian Moto GP world championship leader Casey Stoner will start on pole in Sunday's (today) Grand Prix of Japan after recording the fastest time in qualifying on Saturday. The Honda rider, who won in Motegi last year on a Ducati, clocked 1min 45.267sec, the fastest lap time here on a motorcycle and 0.256sec faster than reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo of Spain on a Yamaha. He was also 0.524sec ahead of Italian Honda teammate Andrea Dovizioso, who took pole last year. It is Stoner's 10th pole position of the season, also a new record for Moto GP, and his fourth in a row after the last three races in Aragon, San Marino and Indianapolis. The new surface of the Twin Ring Motegi, laid after damage caused by Japan's 9.0-magnitude earthquake on March 11, gave his soft tyres "fantastic" grip, Stoner said. "Everything seems to be going well. The bike's working well," he said. "We still need to improve a few small things. For me, on this circuit, I am pretty happy with the way things are going. We just have to wait out for tomorrow and see what the weather does and give it our best," he said. Having won eight of the 14 races so far this season, Stoner enjoys a 44-point lead over Lorenzo and victory in Motegi would improve his chances of securing the championship at his home Grand Prix in Australia on October 16. Honda have an edge over other manufacturers at the Japanese circuit as they use Motegi to develop their bikes, Stoner has said in the past. Lorenzo, who settled for fifth place in the three free practice sessions, said his team "changed the bike completely" before the qualifying round. "It's unbelievable, the lap time," the Spaniard said. "We were quite close to Honda (riders). On this track, they are so competitive." "So tomorrow (Sunday) is going to be a tough race for us, for all the Yamaha riders. But we are fighting with full motivation," he said. Meanwhile, Dovizioso said he was happy to start from the front row. "I'm really happy with the work of the team and the Honda is working really well at this track, I think tomorrow we will have a great race," he said. Fellow Honda rider Dani Pedrosa came in fourth, followed by Ben Spies on a Yamaha and Marco Simoncelli also on a Honda. Valentino Rossi on a Ducati was seventh.