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Pedrosa steals pole in France
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa made it three Le Mans pole positions in four years in a thrilling qualifying session for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of France. It was a riveting battle for supremacy that went right down to the wire and the 23-year-old Spaniard waited until the last possible second to grab top spot by just 0.005s, continuing his spectacular MotoGP qualifying record at the famous French track: Pedrosa was on pole for Repsol Honda in his debut MotoGP season in 2006, and again last year.

His Repsol Honda team-mate, Andrea Dovizioso, also left his best until last this afternoon, putting a in last-gasp hot lap just 0.326s slower than Pedrosa to take fifth position. It was a highly-competitive qualifying session today with the front two rows were covered by only 0.356s. And though Dovizioso wasn’t able to repeat his timesheet-topping performance from yesterday, he was content with achieving a second-row starting position having shown consistent race pace on both Bridgestone’s soft and hard tire options.

This afternoon’s qualifying session was held in sunny conditions but, on a weekend when rain has been an ever-present threat, the MotoGP paddock knows it can’t count on a dry race when the lights go out at 14.00 local time tomorrow.

"Obviously I’m really happy with pole today and it was a very close battle for the front row. Right at the end we were able to set the fastest lap and I’m really pleased for the team as well as for myself. Being on the front row is important, and it’s also lucky that we had good weather for this afternoon and for most of the morning session because it allowed us to test a few set-up options and learn more about the machine at this track. We still have work to do before the race though, so we’re not going to relax at all. It’s a long race tomorrow and there are some improvements I’d like to make to the machine settings to give us a good chance. And of course the weather can play a big part at this circuit as we’ve seen many times before. We have to prepare for many conditions, so we’re staying focused."



Rider Time Nat Bike Team
1 Dani Pedrosa 1m 33.974 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Jorge Lorenzo 1m 33.979 SPA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
3 Casey Stoner 1m 34.049 AUS DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
4 Valentino Rossi 1m 34.106 ITA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
5 Andrea Dovizioso 1m 34.300 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
6 Colin Edwards 1m 34.330 USA YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
7 Chris Vermeulen 1m 34.676 AUS SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
8 Loris Capirossi 1m 34.839 ITA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
9 Marco Melandri 1m 35.008 ITA KAWASAKI Hayate Racing Team
10 Randy De Puniet 1m 35.399 FRA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
11 Toni Elias 1m 35.431 SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
12 James Toseland 1m 35.524 GBR YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
13 Nicky Hayden 1m 35.682 USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
14 Mika Kallio 1m 35.741 FIN DUCATI Pramac Racing
15 Yuki Takahashi 1m 35.774 JAP HONDA Scot Racing Team MotoGP
16 Alex De Angelis 1m 35.785 SMR HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
17 Niccolo Canepa 1m 36.136 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing

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