Pedrosa sets track record at Valencia qualifying

Last updated 10:04 11/11/2012

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Dani Pedrosa of Spain won pole position at the Valencia Grand Prix on Saturday, setting a track record for qualifying with a fastest lap of 1 minute, 30.844 seconds.

Pedrosa steered his Honda around the 4km Comunitat Valenciana circuit with a last flying lap to claim his 24th career pole in MotoGP.

"We are happy with the pole and the record," Pedrosa said. "Maybe it will rain tomorrow, so I will try to do my best and have a good race."

Recently crowned world MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo will start Sunday's race from second place, with retiring two-time world champion Casey Stoner right behind in third.

Valentino Rossi, who is set to leave Ducati for Yamaha next season, finished with the 11th best time.

After raining through practice on Friday, the sky cleared on the Mediterranean coast in time for qualifying.

"It was tough to find our rhythm because we hadn't had time to test the bike in dry conditions," said Lorenzo, who wrapped up his second title two weeks ago at the Australian GP. "The race tomorrow is long so maybe we have a chance at victory."

Stoner, who will try to add to his 38 career MotoGP wins on Sunday, was unhappy with his result.

"It was quite bad," Stoner said. "We had hoped to do a little better than we did. The bike has more potential than it showed today."

Pol Espargaro took pole position in the Moto2 category. Fellow Spaniard and world champion Marc Marquez was second, followed by Thomas Luthi of Switzerland.

In Moto3, Jonas Folger of Germany grabbed pole position at the end of the session. Miguel Oliveira of Portugal will start second in front of Spain's Luis Salom in third and world champion Sandro Cortese in fourth.

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- AP

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