MotoGP: After clinching pole for the Italian Grand Prix, Valentino Rossi expressed the importance of leading from the front at his home race.
Valentino Rossi insists that the nature of the Mugello circuit renders his pole position for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix all the more significant.
The 37-year-old snared pole position at his home grand prix for the first time since 2008 after pipping Maverick Vinales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in the final seconds of Saturday's second qualifying session.
And the Movistar Yamaha rider believes that the 63rd Grand Prix pole of his career could well prove decisive.
"It's very important for the race because in the last years I have always struggled in the qualifying and started on the second or third row," said Rossi, who is third in the MotoGP riders standings.
"So starting from pole position is very important because in this track, it is very difficult to overtake.
"The race here in Mugello is always very demanding, physically and mentally, so to start from the pole position is very important."
Andrea Iannone (Ducati) will start from third on the grid, with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) and championship leader Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha) fourth and fifth respectively.
And Rossi is expecting Italian compatriot Iannone and the three Spaniards to feature prominently in Sunday's sixth race of the 2016 MotoGP season.
"At this moment it looks like Vinales has the better pace." he added. "He is a little bit faster and I am not so bad and Iannone is with me.
"But we have to remember that Marquez and Lorenzo will go fast tomorrow for sure and I think that the top five can win."
Rossi also warned that some changes will need to be made to his bike if he is to secure a first win at Mugello since 2008.
"It is fantastic at Mugello because already there is a lot of crowds, a lot of atmosphere," he said.
"I feel good with the bike, but we have to try to improve some small details."