Dani Pedrosa will attempt to claim a perfect sweep of all three Spanish rounds of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship from second on the grid in Sunday's Valencia season finale.
The Repsol Honda rider, who took his first pole with Bridgestone tyres at last weekend's Malaysian GP, was sitting seventh in the closing stages of the overcast qualifying hour - but delivered his best on his penultimate lap of the afternoon, crossing the line just 0.053sec slower than Casey Stoner.
Pedrosa's two previous 2008 race wins both came with Michelin tyres and his efforts to clinch his first Bridgestone victory before next season have been complicated by the unpredictable weather this weekend.
"Finally, it looked like we might get a dry session this afternoon," began Dani. "The hour started dry but then it started raining again, which spoiled the work we had planned focusing on trying different race tyres. I wanted to continue working with race tyres, preparing for the race, but we made an early switch to qualifying tyres to make sure of a good grid position for tomorrow, in case it started raining more heavily.
"Finally we made the front row, quite close to pole, and the front row is particularly important at this track. We were only able to try one race tyre this afternoon, so we will need a good warm-up and then we will need to think very carefully about which tyres we will run in the race," he confirmed. "I hope we can have a dry race tomorrow, not only for us but also for all the tens of thousands of fans who always pack the grandstands here."
"Dani did a great job today, he was very close to scoring his second consecutive pole position," praised team manager Kazuhiko Yamano. "The front row is very important here because overtaking is not so easy at this track. Dani has therefore put himself in a good position for tomorrow's race. The lap times are very close at the front of the pack, so the start will be crucial. Like everyone, he has had very little dry-track time to compare race tyres, but I think he is in good shape, we will make some small settings changes tomorrow morning, make our race tyre choice and target the win."