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Pedrosa takes tenth MotoGP pole with late Le Mans charge

Pedrosa takes tenth MotoGP pole with late Le Mans charge

Dani Pedrosa became the third MotoGP poleman of the year with a fantastic last-gasp lap of Le Mans.

MotoGP World Championship leader Dani Pedrosa will start tomorrow´s Alice Grand Prix de France from pole position, his tenth in the premier class. The Spaniard performed his customary late charge to take his Repsol Honda to the top marker on the grid, edging out 2007 poleman Colin Edwards with a 1´32.647 lap of the Le Mans circuit.

Edwards had looked on course for a repeat of last year´s qualifying performance, laying down his fast time immediately upon changing up to the stickiest Michelin rubber. Whilst last year he sank down the field in the wet like the Titanic, with a defined race setting and confidence on a high he will be hoping for the performance of a titan and a first victory tomorrow.

The `Texas Tornado´ has been on the front row for four of the five races this season, including pole position in China. He was on a final hot lap for a second consecutive pole when he was baulked by Ducati Marlboro´s Marco Melandri, whose teammate Casey Stoner will join the Tech 3 Yamaha veteran on the front line.

Pedrosa, Stoner and Valentino Rossi –fourth fastest in the session- were all made to sit up on the tricky La Chapelle corner at the end of Le Mans´ first section. Such mistakes were few and far between, as they all showed high competitiveness on their respective race and qualifying tyres as part of a top four separated by just half a second.

Experiencing further run-offs was fifth placed Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, who crashed in the morning practice and experienced several off-track excursions whilst looking for a fourth MotoGP pole position. The last such diversion left him having to turn the factory M1 around by himself, standing on his still-tender ankles.

2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden salvaged a second row start with which to attempt to move his way up amongst the frontrunners, whilst James Toseland heads row three on a new track for the Briton, ahead of Rizla Suzuki´s 2007 Le Mans racewinner Chris Vermeulen and Kawasaki´s John Hopkins will join the superbike champion.


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