MotoGP World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo will start the Spanish Grand Prix from pole position for the second year in succession after leading a home one-two in Saturday's qualifying session at Jerez.

The Fiat Yamaha star battled Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa for supremacy during most of the 45-minute session. Lorenzo, winner last weekend at Motegi, had built a half second lead heading into the final five minutes, but Pedrosa - fastest in morning practice - shot to within 0.051sec moments later.

Both Lorenzo and Pedrosa failed to improve on their final run, confirming Lorenzo's first pole since last year's Japanese Grand Prix. Lorenzo finished third at Jerez last season, behind race winner Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi.

Pedrosa may have been outpaced on Saturday, but he gave a timely reminder of his talents as he continues to make up for lost time caused by testing injuries - whilst rumours continue to circulate about Lorenzo possibly replacing him at Repsol Honda, or even joining him at the team next season.

Qatar winner Casey Stoner got closest to the Spaniards, lapping 0.482secs behind the #99 at a track traditionally tough for both Stoner and his Desmosedici. Stoner appeared pleased with his performance, but felt the Ducati's large fairing had been a disadvantage during today's windy session.

Rossi, one point behind Lorenzo heading into this weekend after two second place finishes, will start fourth on the grid after lapping a worrying 0.709sec behind the identical machine of Lorenzo.

Randy de Puniet produced an admirable ride on the Playboy-backed LCR Honda to claim fifth on the grid, with Loris Capirossi leading the Rizla Suzuki challenge in sixth. Seventh placed Colin Edwards of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 was the final rider within one second of Lorenzo.

Andrea Dovizioso, fifth in both free practice sessions, slipped back to eighth in qualifying, with Toni Elias placing his factory RCV ninth for San Carlo Honda Gresini.

Chris Vermeulen will be disappointed with tenth on the second GSV-R, while Marco Melandri remains on target for another top ten finish after placing his Hayate eleventh on the grid - one place in front of 2004 Jerez winner Sete Gibernau (Francisco Hernando Ducati)

Yuki Takahashi went some way to restoring his reputation, after last weekend's opening lap error, by being the top rookie in 13th position for Scot Honda. James Toseland will start 14th, with Alex de Angelis 15th after a fall.

The final three places on the grid will go to Ducati riders Nicky Hayden, Mika Kallio and Niccolo Canepa.


1. Lorenzo
2. Pedrosa
3. Stoner
4. Rossi
5. de Puniet
6. Capirossi
7. Edwards
8. Dovizioso
9. Elias
10. Vermeulen
11. Melandri
12. Gibernau
13. Takahashi
14. Toseland
15. de Angelis
16. Hayden
17. Kallio
18. Canepa


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