Moto GP

Valentino Rossi Powers to Pole in Mugello

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Valentino Rossi Powers to Pole in Mugello
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi brought massive cheers to the Autodromo del Mugello circuit today as he took a sensational pole position ahead of Suzuki's Maverick Vi̱ales and Andrea Iannone in the qualifying session for tomorrow's Gran Premio d'Italia.

Rossi set a hot pace at the Autodromo del Mugello track to score a brilliant pole position for the Gran Premio d'Italia. Vi̱ales, who has been consistently near the top throughout all practice and qualifying sessions, put in a stunning final lap in the all-important Q2 to claim second position with a time of 1'46.598, just 0.094-of-a-second from Rossi. Ducati's Andrea Iannone rounded out the the front row with a 1m 46.607 lap.

Rossi arrived at the box with a special helmet that symbolizes how the hills around the Mugello track turn yellow when thousands of his fans come to support him during the Italian GP weekend. He took his time to leave the pit lane as qualifying got underway, allowing most of the other riders to depart before he headed out. The local hero put in a 1'48.433s on his first flying lap to slot into tenth place, before moving up to eighth place with a 1'47.593s on his second attempt.

Unable to improve his time on lap three, the Doctor quickly returned to the pits with less than five minutes on the clock for a new rear tyre. Back on the track, he dug deep and squeezed out all that his YZR-M1 has to offer on his fourth hot lap and set an incredible 1'46.504s to take over first place. The last minute of the session saw a flurry of activity but the Italian's amazing time was left unchallenged, resulting in his second pole position of the season, 0.094s ahead of his closest rival.
Valentino Rossi Powers to Pole in Mugello
Valentino Rossi Powers to Pole in Mugello
"I'm very, very happy because it has been a long time since I last had pole here in Mugello, in the last years I was always struggling a lot," Rossi explained.

"From Free Practice this afternoon we made a good step with the bike and I had a good pace. Qualifying is always difficult, but we followed the right strategy in the right moment of qualifying and I am very happy to start from first position, first of all for all the fans, but especially here it's so important that I ride in front."

Maverick Vi̱ales felt immediately confident with his machine, being consistently in the top part of the sheets.

‰ÛÏWell it‰Ûªs a great day, I did an incredible lap but anyway we have been performing for the whole weekend. I‰Ûªm very happy for how the team supported me and finalised my machine," Vi̱ales enthused.
Valentino Rossi Powers to Pole in Mugello
Maverick Vi̱ales finished second fastest.
"I‰Ûªve been feeling confident since the very beginning here and for the whole weekend so far and we took profit from that. I tested my pace in FP4 and we still lack a little bit, so I will try my best for a good start and hold the position and to fight with the leading group. This race will be very hard-fought and I want to stay in there.‰Û
Valentino Rossi Powers to Pole in Mugello
Andrea Iannone rounded out the front row with the thrid fastest time
Marc Marquez will start from fourth place. The setup that Marquez and his crew had found in the morning session hadn‰Ûªt proven equally good in the much warmer afternoon FP4, Marc and his crew made a few modifications to the settings of their Repsol Honda RC213V, enabling him to lap under the 1‰Ûª47‰Û
Valentino Rossi Powers to Pole in Mugello
Marc Marquez found the going tough but came away fourth fastest.
Jorge Lorenzo was down the order by his standards with the fifth fastest time.

"In all the practice sessions, for some reason, we couldn't take advantage of using a new tyre like the other riders and in qualifying I did my best over three laps but there is still something that's not good on the bike that we need to discover for tomorrow, especially on braking," Lorenzo said. "I think that our pace is better than our position today suggests and tomorrow's race will be open with many riders having the possibility to win."
Valentino Rossi Powers to Pole in Mugello
Jorge Lorenzo still cannot find a solution to his tyre issues and finished 5th fastest
Aleix Espargaro rounded out the second row with the sixth fastest time.

‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm very happy with qualifying and the second row," Espargaro enthused. "I‰Ûªve been struggling since yesterday and this morning was very bad, as I classified 16th. I wasn‰Ûªt expecting it but finally my crew found some positive solutions for the set-up that allowed me to feel much more confident.

Dani Pedrosa, Bradley Smith, Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding rounded out the top ten. Aussie Jack Miller will start from 17th on the grid
Valentino Rossi Powers to Pole in Mugello
Aleix Espargaro is happy to round out the second row with sixth fastest
Main Photo: Valentino Rossi

MotoGP Mugello - Qualifying Results
1. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 46.504s [Lap 7/8] 340km/h (Top Speed)
2. Maverick Vi̱ales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 46.598s +0.094s [7/7] 340km/h
3. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) 1m 46.607s +0.103s [5/8] 347km/h
4. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 46.759s +0.255s [2/7] 341km/h
5. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 46.882s +0.378s [8/8] 340km/h
6. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 47.186s +0.682s [6/6] 340km/h
7. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 47.218s +0.714s [7/8] 342km/h
8. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 47.247s +0.743s [9/9] 339km/h
9. Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 47.261s +0.757s [6/7] 349km/h
10. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 47.359s +0.855s [5/6] 345km/h
11. Michele Pirro ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) 1m 47.361s +0.857s [6/6] 346km/h
12. Yonny Hernandez COL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 47.436s +0.932s [7/7] 346km/h
13. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) 1m 47.089s 348km/h
14. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 47.159s 339km/h
15. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 47.555s 343km/h
16. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 47.659s 335km/h
17. Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 47.830s 335km/h
18. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 48.111s 345km/h
19. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 48.372s 331km/h
20. Stefan Bradl GER Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 48.646s 336km/h
21. Loris Baz FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 48.991s 339km/h
Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)* No Time

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