Japanese sensation Daijiro Kato claimed his first ever MotoGP pole position this afternoon, despite being unable to improve on his blisteringly quick time from yesterday's first qualifying session, and after a crash during today's hour-long practice.

On the Honda RC211V, Kato has looked in superb form so far this weekend, rarely looking out of place or uncomfortable with the V5 machine as he slid it around the Twin Ring's testing curves.

The pace was certainly high both yesterday and today, Kato having shattered last year's pole set by Capirossi by three-quarters of a second, and with six other riders also riding within this time.

"I actually crashed my number one bike at the start of the session and had to take it back to the pits, so I was unable to improve my time with the spare bike," explained the Gresini rider. "I am riding in my home country so this is good start for tomorrow."

Tomorrow's Pacific Grand Prix represents Kato's fourth ride on the RCV, and with the crowd's backing, he will be one of the favourites in what looks to be a strong field of front-runners.

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