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Rossi delighted with 'great' pole lap at Sepang

Rossi delighted with 'great' pole lap at Sepang

Valentino Rossi is extremely pleased to be starting the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in pole position.

Defending MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, who could clinch the 2009 title this Sunday at Sepang with a top-four finish, is thrilled not only with his qualifying pole position but also with the time he set to secure it.

The Italian beat his own pole position record at the Sepang international circuit – which had stood since 2006 and was set on a 990cc machine – to record a new best time of 2’00.518.

“It’s great to get the record because we worked so hard in practice and I’m very happy with the setting we have,” said Rossi. “My target was to try and go under 2’01, because in the winter test here I got to around that pace, but I managed to go even better and beat my own time from 2006 with a 990cc bike and qualifying tyres. It was a great lap.”

The 30 year-old is also pleased with the set-up of his YZR-M1 bike ahead of the race. He added, “My Yamaha is working so well here and it’s a great track. We worked very well with Bridgestone to have a good strategy for the session and we are in the best position for starting the race tomorrow.”

With a 38-point lead over Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who qualified in second spot ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, Rossi knows he could end the title battle this weekend.

“This is the target,” he said. “We have to work as though it is just a normal race and go for the victory, because we are good here. But the first objective is to get on the podium. With these three other guys who are so strong at this level, if you don’t go at 110% you risk starting fourth so the way we have worked this weekend has made a difference and I think we are ready for race day.”


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