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Rossi claims pole on home soil

Valentino Rossi thrilled the home fans at Mugello by claiming pole position, with championship leader Jorge Lorenzo set to start from fifth

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Home favourite Valentino Rossi will start from pole in the Italian Grand Prix after pipping Spain's Maverick Vinales in the final seconds of Saturday's second qualifying session.

Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Vinales had looked set to earn first place on the grid at the Mugello circuit with a lap time of one minute and 46.598 seconds before Rossi went round 0.094secs faster to secure his first pole in his home MotoGP race since 2008.

Andrea Iannone set the pace in the final three free practice sessions, but the Ducati man ultimately had to settle for third, while Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) was fourth, one place ahead of current championship leader and defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha).

Lorenzo beat Rossi into second place at Le Mans last time out, but will face a stern challenge to repeat that feat on Sunday at a track where the 37-year-old veteran enjoyed seven consecutive victories between 2002 and 2008.

Following Lorenzo off from the grid will be two more Spaniards, Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda).

One absentee from qualifying, meanwhile, was Tito Rabat, who fractured his left collarbone after crashing out at the start of FP3 on Saturday.

The Spanish rider, currently sitting 17th in the championship standings, will undergo further examinations with the Marc VDS team hopeful he will return in Barcelona.


Provisional classification

1. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) 1:46.504
2. Maverick Vinales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) 1:46.598    
3. Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) 1:46.607   
4. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team Honda) 1:46.759    
5. Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha) 1:46.882   
6. Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) 1:47.186    
7. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) 1:47.218    
8. Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech) 1:47.247    
9. Danilo Petrucci (OCTO Pramac Yakhnich Ducati) 1:47.261   
10. Scott Redding (OCTO Pramac Yakhnich Ducati) 1:47.359   

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