Dani Pedrosa was left to rue a last lap error that denied him the opportunity to claim a fifth pole position of the season at the new Motorland Aragon track this afternoon.
The Repsol Honda rider looked certain to climb from third to first as he embarked on an impressive final lap assault.
The Spaniard, who won back-to-back races in Indianapolis and Misano for the first time in his career recently, was over 0.2s faster than Casey Stoner’s best lap in the first two timed sectors.
But just as he started the third sector he ran off track and had to settle for third place with a best time of 1.49.343.
That left him 0.401s behind Stoner’s factory Ducati and he said:
“On the last lap I was off the track going into the third section so I lost the lap and probably pole position. But still I was able to keep third place and be on the front row and it's so very important to be on the front row.
"It is even more important here with the first corner so close to the start line, so I think it is great to be on front row.”