In the first dry session so far, Pedrosa’s lap in the high 1.33s saw Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo dramatically pushed into second by less than two hundredths. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow was equally on the pace, with the Brit being on provisional pole in the final minutes, before being overtaken by the Spanish duo.
Fourth place went to LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, who looks ever more like the complete package on his satellite machine with yet another terrific performance. Lining up next to him in fifth is San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, putting on a good show for the team at its home race. Rounding out the second row is Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi, having had one of his best qualifying sessions of the year, fishing just over seven tenths off the top.
Row three is headed by Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, who will be disappointed he could not match his teammate in front of his home crowd. This pushed Yamaha’s Ben Spies into seventh, with the American doing well to recover from a crash half way through the session. In ninth, Repsol Honda’s Jonathan Rea looked unfazed by his lack of track time, as he went consistently quicker on his factory machine on his MotoGP QP debut. Ducati’s Nicky Hayden completed the top ten, putting in the laps despite still suffering from a right hand injury. Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet finished as top CRT, having qualified in 12th. Apart from Spies, the only other crasher was Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini, who walked away from the incident unscathed.