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MotoGP Mugello: On-fire Rossi takes pole ahead of Vinales

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi snatched his second pole position of the 2016 MotoGP season in front of his home crowd at Mugello this afternoon but was made to work for it as his 2017 Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales was less than a tenth in arrears on the works Ecstar Suzuki.

Rossi stuck in a 1’46.504 to take top spot after spending today working on his fourth sector pace as he and Vinales lapped together for most of the 15 minute session. The Spaniard put in a 1’46.607 for second place while Andrea Iannone, who led free practices two, three and four, completed the front row with a 1’46.607.

Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo head the second row. The younger Spaniard only got one proper flying lap as the beginning of his second run was interrupted by people trying to cop a tow from the RC213V while Lorenzo just didn’t have the outright speed this afternoon. Aleix Espargaro followed Lorenzo to take sixth place.


Dani Pedrosa found some pace to take seventh with Bradley Smith also pulling a lap from nowhere to bag eighth and top independent spot. Danilo Petrucci was as high as fifth early in the session but he slipped back to ninth but was still second-fastest Ducati. Octo Pramac team-mate Scott Redding came through qualifying one - courtesy of an astonishing 1’46.886 lap which he couldn’t quite match in the second session.

Ducati test rider Michele Pirro took 11th place, just ahead of Yonny Hernandez. Andrea Dovizioso, who signed a new, two-year deal with Ducati earlier in the week, slumped to 13th while Pol Espargaro crashed again while leading qualifying one and didn’t make it through. Hector Barbera was 15th.

Cal Crutchlow suffered another front-end crash in qualifying one and will start from 16th place, just ahead of Jack Miller and Eugene Laverty.

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