- Associated Press - Saturday, May 6, 2017

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, Spain (AP) - Dani Pedrosa took pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday, ahead of defending MotoGP champion Marc Marquez.

Pedrosa’s late flying lap of 1 minute, 38.249 seconds edged his Honda teammate’s best effort by 0.049 at the 4.4 kilometer (2.7-mile) Circuito de Jerez.

Cal Crutchlow will start Sunday’s race from third, followed by Maverick Vinales, who has won two of three races this season for Yamaha.

Points leader Valentino Rossi starts from seventh, just ahead of Jorge Lorenzo on his Ducati.

Rossi leads teammate Vinales by six points after recording two second places and one third-placed finish so far.

It was Pedrosa’s 29th career pole in the top category, but his first since Malaysia in 2015.

“I am very happy because last year was very difficult for me,” Pedrosa said. “Getting a spot on the front line of the starting grid was my goal.”

Spaniards swept poles in all three categories, including track records in the two lower classes.

Alex Marquez, the younger brother of Marc Marquez, won his first pole in Moto2 after his world title in Moto3 last season.

Marquez’s lap of 1:42.080 was a record for the intermediate class at the track.

In Moto3, Jorge Martin set a track record with a lap time of 1:46.004.

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