Marc Marquez saw his chances of a seventh consecutive MotoGP pole position thwarted after a braking error on his final qualifying run caused him to fall at turn one.
Marquez, who had lost pole a few minutes before his first tumble of the season, held his hands up afterwards and admitted he had 'braked too late' to make the corner.
However, the Repsol Honda star still sealed a front row start, with his time of 1m 41.135s from his first run, which had given him provisional pole, enough for third place on the grid behind Pedrosa and Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo.
“Today I made the first mistake of the season, so I need to apologise to the team because it was my fault. The strategy we had set out was coming together perfectly, but when riding with the last tyre I braked too late,” said Marquez.
“I knew it was my last attempt, so I tried to go into the corner anyway. That was not the best choice; I should have written off the lap, but these things happen when you are riding at home; you always try to give a little bit extra.
“We know for tomorrow that there is no more room for improvement on that corner and that we have a good set-up with which to fight for the win.”
The fall aside, Marquez again broke ranks with his rivals by making three qualifying runs instead of two - made possible by switching to his spare bike for the middle run, instead of waiting for a tyre change.
“We saw that the best potential of the new tyre was in the first flying lap. For that reason we tried the same strategy as Jerez, it was working and I was quite confident for the last tyre run, until the mistake. Anyway it is impossible to be fastest all the time in MotoGP with Jorge, Dani and Valentino.
“We have a good pace and we are very, very close with Jorge and Dani and Valentino and it will be a tough race, especially in the last lap, but I think we are ready to fight for the victory," he added.
“I feel good with the bike and of course we will prefer a dry because for everybody it will be much better, for the fans and for the race.”
Despite Marc's mistake, there was still one Marquez on pole on Saturday, with younger brother Alex claiming his first pole in the Moto3 class.
“I'm really happy for him and also Tito [Rabat, on pole in Moto2] because we all train together. Today they can complain about me because normally when I'm on pole I talk with them to try to help them improve. Today maybe they can help me a bit to improve here!"