The 22-year-old Italian who had prior to the Malaysian Grand Prix announced his move from the intermediate category to next season's MotoGP wrapped up his biggest career achievement with the final leg in Valencia remaining.
The Ducati rider suffered a hugely disappointing outing at Phillip Island last week where he finished a lowly 13th after struggling in qualifying, where he placed 11th.
The final minutes of Saturday's session saw escalating lap times from Jorge Lorenzo, Maverick Viñales, Andrea Dovizioso, Zarco and finally Pedrosa, leaving it to the final seconds to take the top spot. "We are going to Valencia in a relaxed way and will try to do the maximum". "I also lost the front many times". He has his character and it didn't create to me any problem, so about that, for sure [best team-mate]. I'm happy for the team, as this pole is for them. I enjoy riding here and have good memories of the track. In Argentina that time it was a completely different story and we fight for the place in Ducati.
It is the biggest win of the Italian's career so far but came only after a huge mistake from team-mate and race leader Jorge Lorenzo at turn 15 with five laps left saw him nearly crash and allow the #04 GP17 past. "He lost the front".
"I was able to catch Jorge, and today he was really fast, so I have to be very concentrate to be with him". "He was faster in some points and I was faster in other points", he added.
"In the past in the dry we've never been very competitive, but I expect it will be different this year".
"Unfortunately a flawless bike doesn't exist; every bike has positive and negative characteristics and to have a really good balance you have to be fast in every track, every conditions".
"We know it's hard, but the Championship is open and we'll try everything", Dovizioso said at a press conference ahead of the Malaysia GP, scheduled to take place over the weekend.