In-form Spanish rider Dani Pedrosa will start from pole in Sunday's Italian MotoGP after posting the fastest time in qualifying here on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Honda star - who won last Sunday's German MotoGP - will start ahead of series leader and compatriot Jorge Lorenzo, on a Yamaha, while another Spaniard, Hector Barbera, is third on the grid on a Ducati.

It is Pedrosa's 39th pole position of his career - the 21st in this category.

His Australian team-mate and defending world champion Casey Stoner, who crashed when set for at least second place on the last lap of the German MotoGP, was fifth fastest.

Pedrosa, who is second in the standings, battled it out with Lorenzo for most of the session but it was to end in disappointment for the latter when he had to come in early on the last lap.

"I had engine problems in the final corners and I had to stop," said Lorenzo, who leads Pedrosa by 26 points.

"We have to correct this problem before tomorrow."

Barbera achieved his best result in this category so far, outperforming the two official Ducati entries of Italian legend Valentino Rossi, who was only 10th fastest, and Nicky Hayden, who was fourth quickest.

Standings

1. Dani Pedrosa, Spain, Honda, 1 minute, 47.284 seconds.
2. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain, Yamaha, 1:47.423.
3. Hector Barbera, Spain, Ducati, 1:47.545.
4. Nicky Hayden, United States, Ducati, 1:47.671.
5. Casey Stoner, Australia, Honda, 1:47.689.
6. Cal Crutchlow, Britain, Yamaha, 1:47.749.
7. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy, Yamaha, 1:47.751.
8. Stefan Bradl, Germany, Honda, 1:47.857.
9. Ben Spies, United States, Yamaha, 1:48.149.
10. Valentino Rossi, Italy, Ducati, 1:48.502

Source: AFP