Colin Edwards -- in his works Fiat Yamaha -- notched his second pole position of the season in today's qualifying session for the British Grand Prix, eighth round of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) that takes place on the Donington Park circuit.
In the final minutes, Edwards was able to beat his his own teammate's best time. Valentino Rossi was 0.146 seconds off the pole, but both Fiat Yamaha team riders will start from the front row on Sunday.
"I'm really happy so far this weekend. We made big steps with our rain set-up yesterday and then today Michelin brought the good race tyres I wanted and things were looking good in the dry too," Edwards said.
The American rider set 1.28:531 in the 28th circuit of the 29 laps he used during the one hour session. The Italian's best was 1:28.677.
"With the qualifying tyre things felt really great once again and I'm seriously happy to be on pole here. With my second soft tyre I got the left side really warmed up on my out lap and then just pulled the pin. If you really want pole you have to take a lot of risk; that's what I did today and it paid off!," the 'Texan Tornado' added.
Rossi will try tomorrow to cut some of the 14 points of difference with standings leader's Casey Stoner, coming up from second in the grid.
"When the bike and tyres are feeling good this is a fantastic track to ride and now with these new 800s you can use all the best lines, so it's a great feeling. Unfortunately I got a little bit blocked by another rider on my lap and I lost a bit of time, but anyway Colin and I are one and two so this is the most important thing and I want to say well done to Colin," Rossi stated.
However, the Italian believes his time would been better if he wouldn't have found traffic on his flying lap. "I was on a very good qualifying lap but Roberts was on the line so I had to close the throttle, second is okay though."
The two Repsol Honda riders finished third and fourth with the Spaniard taking the front row start while his American teammate will start on the second row -- his best grid position this year -- after taking the crown last season.
Dani Pedrosa clocked 1.28:863 in his best shot on board the Honda to beat the reigning MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden, who set his fastest time at 1.29:025.
The Spaniard was within metres of taking pole position as the remarkable Spaniard eeked a second flying lap from his Michelin qualifying tyres on his final run. Going into the last sector of the lap Pedrosa was up on time, but his rear tyre, designed to complete only one fast lap, couldn't quite last the distance. Still it was an impressive attempt from Pedrosa.
"Today went pretty well and I'm very pleased to be on the front row for the race because this is always important. The practice sessions were ok and stayed dry which meant we could find a good set-up and work up to a fairly consistent race pace, though I had a big moment this morning when the temperature was colder," Pedrosa mentioned.
Hayden is also in strong form after securing fourth spot and displaying excellent pace all weekend. The 25-year-old American was fastest in the morning's dry session and set his quickest lap towards the end of long sequence of fast laps, which bodes well for his consistency in the race.
"The session went pretty well and fourth is definitely my best qualifying position for a while so I've got to be happy with that. It felt good to be fastest this morning too, although I didn't really improve a lot this afternoon and I'd have liked to have gone a little bit quicker. Also I only improved by two tenths on my second qualifying tyre and you've got to do more than that to get on the front row," Hayden said.
Current points leader, Casey Stoner, looked disappointed to have concluded the session with a second-row start after making a mistake on the final corner on a flying lap with pole position looking well within his grasp, resulting in his taking fifth place on the grid.
The Australian's best lap time was of 1.29:061 on his Marlboro Ducati and put right ahead of John Hopkins, sixth with the Rizla Suzuki turning a time of 1.29:073.
LCR Honda's Carlos Checa took seventh, followed by the Kawasaki of Randy de Puniet, Honda Gresini's Marco Melandri and Toni Elias. Elias was lucky to land tenth after running wide onto the lush green grass at the side of the Donington track with ten minutes to go.