Dani Pedrosa admitted he was lucky to escape injury after he bounced back from a heavy qualifying crash to claim a place on the front of the grid for tomorrow’s Australian MotoGP clash.
Hopes of the Repsol Honda rider claiming a top three spot seemed remote when he suffered a heavy tumble at the Southern Loop shortly before the halfway stage of the session.
The triple world champion lost the front-end of his factory RC212V and was sent careering through the gravel trap at high speed.
The Spaniard though returned to the track and pulled off a brilliant recovery, his best lap of 1.31.070 ending Jorge Lorenzo’s 100 per cent front row qualifying record in 2009.
Speaking later in the Phillip Island paddock, the 23-year-old said: “I just touched the front brake and lost control. It was boom and I was down. I don’t know what happened but I was lucky to not be injured.
"I just tried to take the second bike and finish the session and in the first section I was not so strong after the crash.
"So after what happened I am pleased to be on the front row. I think we have to improve our pace to have a chance of fighting at the front, but we will see what happens.”
Pedrosa’s crash today came at the same corner where he crashed out of the 2008 Australian MotoGP race on the opening lap.