Dani Pedrosa is counting on a fast start in the San Marino MotoGP to boost his chances of challenging for the podium.

Pedrosa qualified in fifth place on row two alongside team-mate Marc Marquez, with Movistar Yamaha pair Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi both securing front row starts in pole and third place respectively.

Pramac Ducati's Andrea Iannone split the Yamaha duo and Pedrosa knows he has his work cut out to stay in touch with the Yamaha pair on the opening laps at Misano.

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"Usually the Yamaha is fast at this track, but today the lap times were very close and there is a chance tomorrow still to do a good opening lap," he said.

"Were are starting from the second row and have [Andrea] Iannone in front, so it is important to do a good start and be fast on the first laps.

"The first section is tight and you don't have a lot of room to do a perfect start, but anyway we have to try and I think it is possible.

"The race is very long but it is important to pass the train in the beginning," he added. "The key is to have a good traction because if you lose on the exit you don't get close to overtaken on the brakes.

"I feel more competitive here than Silverstone and this is a real positive point, but for sure Jorge will start very quick."

Pedrosa, who time of 1m 33.418s was only 0.058s behind Marquez in fourth, also feels the correct front tyre choice will be critical.

"It will also be important to make the right choice with the front tyre, because that will be the key to the race," he said. "We will have to fight to the maximum, because this is a very long race."