Dani Pedrosa says any confidence earned courtesy of securing his second MotoGP pole position of 2012 has to be tempered by the threat Jorge Lorenzo's "incredible pace" is likely to pose in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.
The Sachsenring winner said Honda made another step forward in qualifying at Mugello, allowing him to shade Lorenzo in the fight for pole.
While therefore happy with his bike and his starting position, Pedrosa said he would have to ride at his absolute maximum to defeat Lorenzo, who looked set to capture pole until pulling out of his final lap.
"We definitely made another step forward today and to get the pole position here is great, although to always be on the front row is what really matters to me," Pedrosa explained.
"I'm quite happy with the set-up of my bike, we've had better grip today and I'm pretty confident, but we have to keep very focused and push at the maximum because Lorenzo has an incredible pace."
Pedrosa predicted there would be little let-up during the race, given Lorenzo's ability to produce fast laps on a consistent basis throughout the opening two days in Italy.
"It will be a very hard race for sure, it's very hot out there and the race pace will be also very high looking at the lap times this afternoon," he added.