Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa earned his second pole position of the season today as the MotoGP World Championship marched forward without Valentino Rossi at the Mugello circuit in Italy.With Rossi slated to undergo surgery this afternoon after breaking his right leg in a practice crash in the morning practice session, life went on for the rest of the MotoGP men and when all was said and done Pedrosa was the quickest of the bunch.The Spaniard, who earned pole position for round two in Spain, came out on top in today's final qualifying session for tomorrow's Grand Prix at Mugello, the Honda man lapping at a best of 1:48.819 to top Rossi's teammate and World Championship points leadedr Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo was just .177 of a second behind Pedrosa and almost half a second quicker than the rider behind him. With Rossi out, Lorenzo is 27 points clear of third-placed rider in the championship, Andrea Dovizioso.That rider was Marlboro Ducati's Casey Stoner, the Australian trying to rebound from his crash in the French Grand Prix two weeks ago. Stoner was the first rider in the 1:49s and was .613 of a second off Pedrosa's best.Marlboro Ducati's Nicky Hayden will start tomorrow's Grand Prix from row two, the Kentuckian having qualified fourth - just .114 of a second behind his teammate. Hayden will be joined on the second row by countryman Colin Edwards and LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet. Edwards was just .137 of a second off Hayden's pace with de Puniet only .054 of a second behind the Texan.The third row will be headed by Edwards' Monster Tech 3 Yamaha teammate Ben Spies, the second Texan in the race qualifying well in his first go at the Mugello circuit. Spies was the last rider in the 1:49s and is just a tick over a second slower than Pedrosa.Pedrosa's teammate Dovizioso will start his home GP from the third row after qualifying eighth, with Pramac Racing's Aleix Espargaro joining him.Row four will be headed by Interwetten Honda's Hiroshi Aoyama, the non-defending 250cc World Champion ahead of his former 250cc rival Marco Simoncelli on the San Carlo Honda. Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi will complete row four.

Final Qualifying

1.                  Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:48.819

2.                  Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:48.996

3.                  Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1:49.432

4.                  Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:49.546

5.                  Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:49.683

6.                  Randy de Puniet (Honda) 1:49.737

7.                  Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:49.861

8.                  Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:50.065

9.                  Aleix Espargaro (Ducati) 1:50.168

10.                  Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1:50.224


MotoGP Headlines

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.

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