Dani Pedrosa takes Italian GP pole

MUGELLO, Italy -- Dani Pedrosa of Spain took pole position ahead of MotoGP leader Jorge Lorenzo in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Pedrosa, riding a Repsol Honda, secured top spot on the grid by clocking a track record of 1 minute, 47.284 seconds on the 3.259-mile circuit.

Lorenzo was 0.139 seconds behind, while Hector Barbera was third, 0.261 seconds off the pace to secure the first front row start of his career. Defending world champion Casey Stoner will start Sunday's race in fifth.

Lorenzo had been quickest in all three practice sessions and for most of qualifying. But he was forced to abandon a late lap in which he appeared set to win pole.