Having gone from hero to zero by crashing out of the Italian Grand Prix last Sunday, Nicky Hayden returned to the former after snatching his second consecutive front row start, during today's final qualifying session for the Catalan Grand Prix.

As the clock read 'zero' the Repsol Honda rider was placed ninth position, but jumped to third as a result of his final flying lap. The American was a full 3.092 seconds faster than his qualifying time here a year ago when he started his sixth MotoGP race from 18th on the grid.

"I've got to be happy with the front row. Last year, qualification was something I really needed to work on. I worked on it a lot over winter - just getting my head down for a lap and I guess it seems to be paying off. I've just got to back it up tomorrow in the race," said Nicky, pictured with Kevin Schwantz.

"My overall pace is not what it should be. I'm just going to have to make a good start and stick with the guys up front. Last weekend it was unfortunate to crash out from a front row start but I least I crashed out going for it and fighting. Just looking forward to a good race tomorrow and learning from the experience," he added.