Dani Pedrosa clinched a front row start for the Valencia MotoGP, taking third place behind Valentino Rossi and Andrea Iannone.

Pedrosa lapped in 1m 30.999s as he finished only 0.156s behind pole man Rossi in final qualifying, held in windy conditions at the Spanish track.

The Repsol Honda rider, whose team-mate Marc Marquez qualified in fifth after a small crash, said: "It was hard because the wind was stronger, but I thought, 'let's go, it's qualifying'. But I always made mistakes at the first turn and wasn't able to do a good lap.

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"With the second tyre I was making the same mistake so I said 'I have to do it [cleanly] at least one time'. So I kept pushing and could make the corner better. By then the tyre was not so fresh for the rest of the lap, but I was still able to improve my lap time.

"It was a difficult qualifying because there was much more wind than in the morning session. That made it hard to calculate the entry to corners and when to brake," said Pedrosa.

"At the end I was able to find those two tenths necessary to get onto the front row, so tomorrow we need to make the most of the position and have a good race."

Pedrosa says tyre management will play a key role in the final race of the season at Valencia and is expecting a tough challenge on Sunday.

"We did a lot of laps and sure we know it's a track where you need to care a lot about the tyres because there are many left corners with a lot of spin. But at the same time you have to stress the tyre to go fast here," he said.

"The race is many laps and it will be a challenge. We hope tomorrow to take profit from the front row and make a good start."