- Dani Pedrosa of Spain takes pole position for Sunday's Malaysian Moto GP
- Pedrosa shrugs off early crash to post time of two minutes 1.462 seconds at Sepang circuit
- New world champion and Honda teammate Casey Stoner to start second
Dani Pedrosa edged out teammate and new world champion Casey Stoner to claim pole position Saturday for the Malaysian MotoGP.
Pedrosa missed the race at Sepang last year as he recovered from a collarbone injury and came to grief again on just his fifth lap of the qualifying session.
But undaunted, the Repsol Honda rider posted a cracking lap of two minutes 1.462 seconds to deny Stoner his 12th pole of his all-conquering season.
The third member of their team, Italy's Andrea Dovizioso, finished third fastest to complete the front row of the grid for Sunday's race.
Stoner, who wrapped up his second MotoGP world title by winning his home race in Australia last weekend, admitted that the hot and humid conditions were causing problems.
"It will be a very tough race," he told the official MotoGP website.
"We are struggling to get stability for the bike."
Stoner's nearest title rival and deposed champion Jorge Lorenzo is sitting out the Malaysian round after having hand surgery following his crash at Phillip Island last Sunday.
American Colin Edwards was fourth fastest on a Yamaha but Italian legend Valentino Rossi continued to struggle on his Ducati and was back in ninth.
In the other classes, Swiss rider Thomas Luthi claimed pole in the Moto2 category on his Suter.
125cc championship leader Nicolas Terol was fastest on an Aprilia in two minutes 13.579 seconds.
He will wrap up the crown if he scores more points than Frenchman Johann Zarco, who was only 15th best on a Derbi.