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Valentino Rossi snatches Mugello MotoGP pole with late effort

Seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi will start Sunday's Italian Grand Prix from pole position, after recording a late lap to snatch pole position on his Yamaha

Rossi was ninth in the times entering the closing stages, but in front of his adoring home crowd at Mugello clocked a lap of 1m46.504s with less than 60 seconds left on the clock.

He followed his 2017 team-mate Maverick Vinales during the lap and while Vinales improved on his next lap, the Suzuki rider wound up 0.094 seconds shy of his maiden MotoGP pole position.

After topping qualifying for the second time this season, Rossi will start from pole position at Mugello for the first time since 2008.

The last eight MotoGP races have been won by the rider who started from pole position.

Having set the pace during practice and in the first half of qualifying, Ducati's Andrea Iannone will complete the front row of the grid, 0.103s slower than Rossi.

Marc Marquez was a chance to edge Rossi on his final lap, but the Honda rider made a mistake and did not improve.

He will start fourth, ahead of Rossi's Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and Aleix Espargaro, who advanced from the first phase of qualifying on his Suzuki.

Dani Pedrosa, Bradley Smith and Danilo Petrucci will share the third row of the grid, ahead of the Ducatis of Scott Redding, Michele Pirro and Yonny Hernandez.

Andrea Dovizioso wound up 13th as he battles a neck injury, having missed out on a spot in the second phase of qualifying by 0.049s.

The result is Dovizioso's worst in qualifying since the Aragon round last September and just the eighth time he has qualified lower than the fourth row in his MotoGP career.

Pol Espargaro had set the pace early in the first phase of qualifying before crashing his Tech3 Yamaha, while LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow also came unstuck at Turn 12 and the pair will start 14th and 16th.

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap
1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m46.504s -
2 Maverick Vinales Suzuki Suzuki 1m46.598s 0.094s
3 Andrea Iannone Ducati Ducati 1m46.607s 0.103s
4 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m46.759s 0.255s
5 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha 1m46.882s 0.378s
6 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki Suzuki 1m47.186s 0.682s
7 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1m47.218s 0.714s
8 Bradley Smith Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m47.247s 0.743s
9 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m47.261s 0.757s
10 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m47.359s 0.855s
11 Michele Pirro Ducati Ducati 1m47.361s 0.857s
12 Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m47.436s 0.932s
13 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m47.089s -
14 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m47.159s -
15 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m47.555s -
16 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 1m47.659s -
17 Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda Honda 1m47.830s -
18 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m48.111s -
19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia Aprilia 1m48.372s -
20 Stefan Bradl Aprilia Aprilia 1m48.646s -
21 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m48.991s -


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