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Rossi on pole in Czech Republic despite crash

Rossi on pole in Czech Republic despite crash

A rare qualifying crash for the MotoGP World Champion at Brno did not prevent him from securing pole position for Sunday’s eleventh race of the 2009 season.

Valentino Rossi survived a late crash during qualifying at the Cardian ab Czech Republic Grand Prix to take his fifth pole position of the season, in clear and sunny conditions at the undulating Brno track.

At one of his favourite venues on the calendar Rossi took his Yamaha M1 round the circuit in 1’56.145 on the 21st of his 23 laps after a battle for supremacy with his team-mate and closest World Championship rival Jorge Lorenzo – who trails him by 25 points in the standings and was 0.05s behind the Italian in this session.

Lorenzo has looked good throughout the weekend and will be confident of pushing Rossi hard in Sunday’s race. Perhaps the Spaniard will take heart from Rossi’s late crash as he keeps the pressure on from the other side of the Fiat Yamaha pit-box.

In the absence of Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa could be the biggest threat to Rossi and Lorenzo, with the talented Repsol Honda rider having qualified in third place, just under four tenths down on Rossi.

Toni Elías, meanwhile, reacted well to the news that he will not be riding for the San Carlo Honda Gresini team next year, placing himself at the front of the second row on his RC212V.

With Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini) qualifying in fifth to seventh respectively the top seven was dominated by Yamaha and Honda.

De Angelis will be joined on the third row by Ducati’s Nicky Hayden and Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi, who survived a scary moment to qualify ninth. There was a crash for temporary factory Ducati stand-in Mika Kallio who placed tenth, whilst Randy de Puniet ran off track at one stage and qualified 13th.


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