Dani Pedrosa set the pace by a considerable 0.6secs from rookie Andrea Dovizioso during 125cc first qualifying at Motegi, on a day when championship contender Manuel Poggiali was left off the front two rows.

Poggiali had monopolised the first ten minutes of the sunny session, with only a brief interruption from Hector Barbera breaking the Gilera riders domination of the top spot around the stop-go circuit.

But when Poggiali took to the pits and the end of his run it was Dani Pedrosa who immediately took advantage, and stole pole - with the aid of a slipstream from Dovizioso (who went up to second), while Gino Borsoi pushed Poggiali back to third.

World Championship leader Anaud Vincent waited until the half way mark (of the 30 minute session) before putting in a proper effort - that left him second and 0.3secs off Pedrosa.

Pedrosa's time, the only under the two minute barrier, continued to set the pace until challenged by none other than the Spaniard himself! With less than 3mins to go the #26 rider dropped his already impressive best by a massive 0.873secs to leave him 1sec clear of the field.

Poggiali, by contrast, had dropped to thirteenth place and desperately needed to put in a quick one, while Barbera - fourth fastest - dropped his Aspar Aprilia at the end of the session.

Poggiali's final lap put him a distant ninth, but main improver in the dying seconds was Dovizioso who shot up to second (ahead of Vincent) on his Scot Racing Team entry for his best ever qualifying (by eight places) to end the day as nearest challenger to the pace setting Telefonica rider - but was still 0.6secs adrift.

Completing the front row was German Steve Jenkner, while crasher Barbera still held on to fifth.

Full times to follow...

1. Pedrosa
2. Dovizioso
3. Vincent
4. Jenkner
5. Barbera
6. Nieto
7. Borsoi
8. Giansanti

 

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