Melbourne:Spain's Dani Pedrosa grabbed pole position for Sunday's Australian MotoGP, upstaging two former world champions and the current title-holder in qualifying at Phillip Island on Saturday.
Honda rider Pedrosa recorded a fastest lap of 1 minute, 20.201 seconds to leave five-time world champion Valentino Rossi of Italy in second place and Australia's current world champion Casey Stoner in third.
Pedrosa lies third in current championship standings and will start on pole for the third time in 16 races this season.
Rossi, on a Yamaha, recorded 1 minute, 29.419 seconds, to qualify 0.218 seconds behind Pedrosa. He will start his hunt for a seventh Australian Grand Prix win from second place on the grid.
Stoner, who clinched the 2007 championship at the Japanese Grand Prix three weeks ago, set the early pace in qualifying Saturday but was eventually 0.615 slower than Pedrosa in qualifying on his Ducati.
Nicky Hayden of the United States, the 2006 world champion, grabbed fourth place on his Honda with a fastest time of 1 minute, 29.932, 0.731 seconds behind Pedrosa.
Loris Capirossi of Italy was fifth on a Ducati, Randy de Puniet of France sixth on a Kawasaki and Brazil's Alex Barros seventh on a Ducati, 1.124 seconds behind Pedrosa.
Shinya Nakano of Japan (Honda), Sylvain Guintoli of France (Yamaha) and Australia's Anthony West (Kawasaki) filled out the top 10.