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Pedrosa comes out on top in magnificent Misano pole battle

Pedrosa comes out on top in magnificent Misano pole battle

The Repsol Honda rider edged out Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner in a fantastic duel for top spot on the starting grid for Sunday’s Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, with Valentino Rossi qualifying in fourth for his home race.

Dani Pedrosa’s imposing form continued on Saturday at Misano as the Repsol Honda rider took his fourth pole position of the season. A blistering final lap of the hour-long qualifying session saw the Spaniard duck under the 1’34” barrier – the only rider to do so – with a best time of 1’33.948 cementing his place at the top of the timesheet.

Following him was Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo who with ten minutes of the session remaining had taken the lead, but the Fiat Yamaha rider eventually ended up 0.308s off Pedrosa after his rival pushed back in front. Lorenzo maintains his record of having started every race this season from the front line.

Completing the front row was Ducati rider Casey Stoner after the Australian capped off an eventful session with the third quickest time. Stoner had taken the lead 20 minutes into the session but crashed immediately after at turn four, remounting his Desmosedici GP10 following some rapid front-end work from his crew. He improved his time to finish up just under half a second off Pedrosa with a best time of 1’34.397.

Valentino Rossi will head up the second row in his home race after the reigning World Champion set the fourth fastest time of the hour on his Fiat Yamaha M1 machine, whilst Ben Spies will be the highest satellite rider on the grid after placing his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine in fifth spot. A commendable effort from the recovering Randy de Puniet saw the LCR Honda rider secure sixth place.

Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and San Carlo Honda Gresini pair Marco Simoncelli and Marco Melandri completed the top ten in the hour.

The only other crash of the session happened just ten minutes in when rookie Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar) fell at turn four, and he eventually qualified in 12th on his Ducati.


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