Pedrosa takes pole in Spain Dani Pedrosa went fastest a thrilling qualifying session to take pole position for the Gran Premio bwin de España at Jerez, as his time of 1’39.202 led a MotoGP field in which the top ten riders were separated by less than 0.9s.
The Repsol Honda rider’s 23rd of 25 laps on board his factory RC212V placed him at the head of the grid and sent the Spanish crowd into enthusiastic raptures, with the front row completed by fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) and Ducati Marlboro rider Casey Stoner.
Fiat Yamaha’s Lorenzo had led the session for a period but his best time was eventually 0.285s off the pace of Pedrosa, with Stoner a further two-hundredths down the timesheet as he secured third spot.
World Champion Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) rode the fourth best time to lead the second row, and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) bounced back from a big crash in Free Practice 2 to qualify in fifth position, just two-thousandths behind Rossi. LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet completed the second row, as the top six all finished within 0.4s of one another.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo Colin Edwards and Ben Spies set the seventh and eighth quickest times respectively, with Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) also inside the tightly packed top ten.
The only fall of the session was for Aleix Espargar¢ (Pramac Racing) with 20 minutes remaining, and the Spaniard was fine to continue his qualifying.
“It’s always nice to get pole position and especially here because it is my home race and the support from the fans is amazing, so I’m very happy for them" said an elated Pedrosa.
"I really didn’t expect this pole to be honest, but I was pushing very hard so I’m very pleased about it. Actually though, it’s not so significant for me because the important thing is the performance in the race and we still need to work very hard on this area. The new frame is delivering some improvements but we’re still not all the way there and we must continue to work on the stability because this is very important in order to be competitive over race distance. Our rivals are also showing a lot of potential so we can’t relax in any way because this will be a long, tough race. Obviously I will start the race thinking about the win, and I know there will be a lot of fans out there cheering for me so I hope we can give them something special.”
The MotoGP race takes place at 2pm local time on Sunday.
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