Like many of Jorge Lorenzo's rivals, Dani Pedrosa's main fear is that the Misano pole sitter will escape on the opening lap of Sunday's San Marino MotoGP race.

Pedrosa, who qualified directly behind the Movistar Yamaha rider in fourth (+0.288s), said: "I think the key is going to be the start because we know when Lorenzo starts in first, with that rhythm, and leads into the first turn he can pull a good distance in the first lap.

"It is hard to do his style and how he rides the bike is quite different. So when he has more free room to race, he is faster. We'll have to start well, try to recover some places and do a good opening lap to be really there."

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Pedrosa, a race winner in all nine of his previous MotoGP seasons, is yet to stand on the top step of the rostrum in 2015. The Repsol Honda star missed three rounds due to arm pump surgery, claiming two podiums in the five events since his comeback.

Although he missed out on a front row in qualifying - "I made mistakes here and there, so I wasn't able to put the lap together" - the Spaniard set a consistently high pace in practice.

But after following the Yamaha and Ducati riders, Pedrosa felt that the RCV is a more physical beast to ride around the 4.226km beachside circuit.

"We'll see," Pedrosa replied, when asked to predict Sunday's winner. "I think the Yamahas look good and we can see we are more fighting with the bike. The Honda you have to fight more. But the race is the race."

Part of that 'fight' concerns the RCV's eagerness to wheelie and spin on corner exit, which also explains why the Honda riders lose out in the third sector of the lap.

"It is the wheelie onto the straight out of the hairpin. We wheelie a lot and because of that we don't get any acceleration and also we spin," Pedrosa explained. "I was riding behind Yamahas and Ducatis and the Yamaha takes advantage out of the turn, in the low gears, and the Ducati takes advantage especially from third gear up to sixth. So it's mainly in the straight, not so much in the turn."

Pedrosa and his team now have "a few things" to work on for tomorrow, including a decision on either the hard or medium compound front tyre. The medium is the most likely rear tyre choice.

"There are some riders who were trying more the hard rear, but we have to wait for tomorrow," he said. "If the temperature is seven or ten degrees higher then this can make a difference [for the tyre choice], but I guess more for the front tyre than the rear."