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Pedrosa edges Lorenzo in qualifying at San Marino MotoGP

updated 8:08 PM EDT, Sat September 15, 2012
Spain's Dani Pedrosa was fastest in Saturday's qualifying session for the San Marino MotoGP
Spain's Dani Pedrosa was fastest in Saturday's qualifying session for the San Marino MotoGP
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spanish rider pips his compatriot Jorge Lorenzo to pole by less that two hundredths of a second
  • Britain's Cal Crutchlow will start Sunday's race from third on the grid
  • Pedrosa looking to close Lorenzo's 13-point lead at top of championship standings

(CNN) -- Spain's Dani Pedrosa is on pole position for Sunday's San Marino MotoGP after posting the fastest lap in qualifying at Misano on Saturday.

The Honda rider snatched first place on the grid by 0.018 of a second in the dying seconds of qualifying, ahead of compatriot Jorge Lorenzo on the Yamaha and Britain's Cal Cal Crutchlow who finished third.

Pedrosa's 41st career pole puts him in prime position to close the gap on Lorenzo in the overall standings.

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The 26-year-old, who is seeking to win a first MotoGP title, currently trails Lorenzo by 13 points with only six races (including San Marino) left this season.

Germany's Stefan Bradl will start Sunday's race in fourth, while Spain's Alvaro Bautista on the Honda finished qualifying in fifth.

Valentino Rossi equalled his season's best performance in qualifying, finishing sixth.

The Misano circuit was officially renamed the "Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli" earlier in the year as a mark of respect to the rider who was killed at the Malaysian Grand Prix in October 2011.

The Italian lived a short distance away from the circuit in Cattolica.

On Thursday, riders from all three classes assembled on the grid to complete a lap of the circuit on bicycles to pay tribute to the Honda rider who was just 24 years old when tragedy struck.

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