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2012-05-19 15:16

JORGE LORENZO: He was briefly on top during qualifying but finished fourth on the grid for the 2012 French MotoGP.

Le Mans, France - Spaniard Dani Pedrosa will start Sunday's 2012 French MotoGP from pole after posting the fastest time in qualifying here on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Honda rider - winner of 15 MotoGP’s - will start from pole for the 38th time, his 20th in this category, after edging out team mate and World champion Casey Stoner of Australia by 0.303sec while Italian Yamaha rider Andrea Dovizioso was third fastest.


Pedrosa - who is yet to win this race and last year broke a collarbone in this MotoGP that ruled him out for several races - and Stoner were the only two riders to go under 1min34.

Dovizioso's best qualifying performance of the season so far was all the more creditable as he relegated the official Yamaha stable duo of 2010 World champion Jorge Lorenzo and American Ben Spies to the second row of the grid.

Italian great Valentino Rossi - favoured to replace Stoner when the Australian retires at the end of the 2012 season - will start from the third row for Ducati, along with Frenchman Randy de Puniet on an Aprilia.

British rider Ben Crutchlow, who’s made an impressive start to his career at this level, was fastest in qualifying for a large part of the session but will start from the fifth row.

Top positions for Sunday
1 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 1min33.638
2 Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda 1min33.941
3 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Yamaha 1min33.976
4 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 1min34.104
5 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Yamaha 1min34.178
6 Ben Spies (US) Yamaha 1min34.669
7 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Ducati 1min34.907
8 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda 1min34.922
9 Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati 1min34.950
10 Karel Abraham (Czech Republic) Ducati 1min35.250

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