Dani Pedrosa feels he has reason to be confident heading into the Italian Grand Prix after qualifying on pole position at Mugello, though he concedes Jorge Lorenzo's 'incredible pace' will make him tough to beat.
The Repsol Honda rider came out on top in a head-to-head between himself and his fellow Spaniard, his lap time of 1min 47.284secs proving well beneath the previous pole position record around the sweeping Italian venue.
However, despite the scintillating single lap pace of the RC213V, Pedrosa is wary that Lorenzo - who would have probably challenged for pole position had he not been slowed by a technical issue - poses a significant threat from second on the grid.
"We definitely made another step forward today and to get the pole position here is great, although to always be on the front row is what really matters to me. We had a good practice in the morning and managed the timing well in qualifying to be on track when everybody started to improve the lap times.
"It will be a very hard race for sure, it's very hot out there and the race pace will be also very high looking at the lap times this afternoon.
"I'm quite happy with the set up of my bike, we've had better grip today and I'm pretty confident, but we have to keep very focused and push at the maximum because Lorenzo has an incredible pace."
Pedrosa, a race winner at the Sachsenring less than a week ago, comes into the Italian Grand Prix 16 points behind Lorenzo in the overall standings.