Spaniard Dani Pedrosa stormed to his first pole position for Bridgestone in a dramatic conclusion to today’s Sepang qualifying session.
The factory Honda rider saved his best for last when he stole his second pole of the season from current world champion Valentino Rossi right at the death.
Heavy rainfall had soaked the Sepang track earlier today, but halfway through the MotoGP session the surface was almost completely dry, save for a few damp patches.
And as lap times started to tumble, Pedrosa left his attack late to post a best time of 2.01.548. That was 0.409s clear of Rossi, who was the only other rider to break into the 2.01 bracket.
The triple world champion said: “It is fantastic to be on pole here, especially since this is my first pole with Bridgestone tyres, so a big thank you to them and also to my team who have worked so hard for this. Track conditions were changing all the time this afternoon, so it was quite tricky.
"At the beginning it was wet, then little by little the track dried, so you had to be on the ball to understand when it was best to change tyres. I was able to get in a good lap time in my final run, and I’m very happy to get this pole position.
"Pole is particularly important here because the lap times are all very close, so a good start will be crucial. We already know what race tyres we are going to use and I feel that we are ready to race.
"Of course, everything depends on the weather, it usually rains here most days, so we will have to wait and see when tomorrow’s rainstorm arrives. It could be wet, dry or mixed.”