Repsol Honda‘s Dani Pedrosa has taken pole for tomorrows San Marino Grand Prix, ahead of championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, to continue his dominant streak which started last weekend at Indianapolis. The Spaniard, who seems to be mounting a late charge on the championship, was embroiled in a late exchange with FIAT Yamaha‘s Lorenzo and Ducati’s Casey Stoner for provisional pole, with the trio trading times for most of the session.
And it was Pedrosa who came out on top, due to a stunning last lap effort, breaking into the 1:33’s and being the only rider to do so. Lorenzo was looking good up to that point, holding the top spot with a few minutes left in the session. Stoner finished the session in third, after being the quicker rider in the early stages.
Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi, at his home grand prix this weekend, will start on the second row, in 4th after starting the session languishing down the bottom of the order. Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Ben Spies qualified as the fastest satellite rider again, starting alongside Rossi, and the second row will be completed by LCR Honda’s Randy De Puniet. 6th place for De Puniet is impressive enough, but then you remember that he is still recovering from his broken leg sustained earlier in the season.
Row 3 will be headed by another Tech3 rider, Colin Edwards in seventh. Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso will line up alongside Edwards in 8th, and the San Carlo Gresni Honda duo of Marco Simoncelli and Marco Melandri round out the top ten.
Ducati’s Nicky Hayden had a nightmare of a session, and he will start in 14th, after spending most of the session 16th. His fastest lap up until the final few moments was his seventh out of the 20 he completed, and the American got it all wrong with his setup choice. The only other major loser of the session was Hector Barbera. After looking good during free practice 2, he had a fall in the early stages of the session, and ended up qualifying in 12th.