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Pedrosa on pole for home MotoGP

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BARCELONA – Honda’s Dani Pedrosa will start his home Grand Prix of Catalunya from pole position, with Yamaha’s MotoGP leader Maverick Vinales only ninth on the starting grid after Saturday’s qualifying.

On a hot and hazy afternoon at the Circuit de Catalunya, Pedrosa made it two poles from two Spanish races so far this season – the previous one coming at the Jerez circuit last month ahead of a race that he won.

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Dani Pedrosa will hope to make his pole position count in the Catalunya MotoGP on Sunday. Photo: Luca Zennaro, ANSA via AP

His time of one minute 43.870 seconds was three-tenths quicker than Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo, another home rider who qualified second for Ducati.

Pedrosa’s reigning champion teammate and compatriot Marc Marquez crashed twice in Saturday’s session and starts fourth, while Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi missed the cut for the final session and will start 13th.

Italian Danilo Petrucci, on a non-works Octo Pramac Ducati, secured his first front-row start in MotoGP with third place on the grid, while Italian Andrea Dovizioso, winner in Italy last weekend for Ducati, will start seventh in Sunday’s race.

Vinales leads Dovizioso by 26 points in the standings after six races.

Pedrosa, Marquez and Vinales are all locals who grew up not far from the Barcelona circuit, while Lorenzo comes from the island of Majorca.

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