Dani Pedrosa expects a titanic battle for victory in tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix with Jorge Lorenzo after pipping the Yamaha rider to pole position. Lorenzo's challenge was halted by a technical problem but with his race pace looking ominously quick, Pedrosa knows he will have to be at his very best to beat him.

“We definitely made another step forward today and to get the pole position here is great, although to always be on the front row is what really matters to me. We had a good practice in the morning and managed the timing well in qualifying to be on track when everybody started to improve the lap times. It will be a very hard race for sure, it’s very hot out there and the race pace will be also very high looking at the lap times this afternoon. I’m quite happy with the set-up of my bike, we’ve had better grip today and I’m pretty confident, but we have to keep very focused and push at the maximum because Lorenzo has an incredible pace”.

Repsol Honda teammate Casey Stoner continued to struggle and could only qualify fifth with the world champion blaming persistent rear chatter for his lack of pace.

“This weekend we’re just missing something, especially in the longer corners we just can’t get the bike to turn, we can’t stop the rear chatter in the exit and in the end we can’t put the lap together. We’re losing some tenths in each sector, if we get the bike sorted for one sector then everything should come together easily but it’s been a difficult weekend so far. We still have tomorrow morning to improve our set up and sort out a few of our weaker points, if we do then we might be in with a chance. I’m not too worried about second row, we’ll hopefully get a good start, see what we can do and try to hang with the guys at the front, but honestly at the moment Jorge and Dani are in a different level”.