JEREZ  - Spain's 2010 world champion Jorge Lorenzo recorded his 46th career pole position here on Saturday when he posted the fastest time in qualifying for the Spanish MotoGP.

The Yamaha rider -- who won the season-opening Qatar MotoGP -- pipped compatriot Dani Pedrosa on a Honda while the 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden of the United States was third fastest on a Ducati. Lorenzo's tally of 46 pole positions includes 20 in MotoGP.

Lorenzo and Pedrosa swapped fastest times throughout a thrilling duel on Saturday and were the only two riders to go under 1min 40sec and in doing so Lorenzo also bettered Pedrosa's fastest lap time set in 2010.

While Hayden, who recorded his best win of last season here last year when he finished third, shone for the Ducati team his team-mate, Italian legend Valentino Rossi, failed to sparkle and will start 13th on the grid.

Englishman Cal Crutchlow caught the eye as he recovered from a spectacular crash to record the fourth fastest time ahead of defending world champion Casey Stoner of Australia.

Earlier, former world champion Valentino Rossi enjoyed a rare successful day on his under-performing Ducati when he clocked the third fastest time in rain-lashed practice for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

Unheralded Spaniard Ivan Silva was the quickest rider on his Kawasaki, more than two seconds ahead of Dani Pedrosa on a factory Honda. Silva made the most of being able to run in a break in the rain on a drying track in the first of Friday's two sessions.

"We go pretty well in the wet. We're happy because it confirms that the bike has the same good feeling in the wet that last year's bike did, and that's important," said Rossi. "I felt good immediately today. We worked on the setting a bit but because we had already started with a good feeling, I was able to immediately ride at the limit and do some good times. Now we have to wait to see what the weather does tomorrow in qualifying, and especially on Sunday."

Reigning world champion Casey Stoner of Australia was fifth fastest on his Honda with Spain's Jorge Lorenzo, the Yamaha rider who won the first race of the season in Qatar, in fourth spot. Combined times for the first two practice sessions at the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday: