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Poleman Rossi in control at Misano

Poleman Rossi in control at Misano

Qualifying at the Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini went down to the wire, but Valentino Rossi ultimately emerged on top.

Having crashed out at Indianapolis last Sunday Valentino Rossi is fighting back in style at his home event this weekend and he took pole at the end of an intriguing qualifying practice at Misano on Saturday afternoon.

The Italian legend has been the fastest rider in every session so far this weekend and his last gasp 1’34.338 lap put him in pole position for the sixth time this season in the Rimini sunshine.

As the session drew to a close it looked as though Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa had snatched pole from Rossi with a decent 1’34.560 effort, but the Fiat Yamaha rider found another level in the closing seconds to deny the Spaniard.

Completing the front row, Rossi’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo also marked his best time at the end of the QP, but he finally fell half a second short of his title rival. Lorenzo will need to be at his very best if he is to improve on his second place result in last year’s Misano contest.

The second row of the grid is headed by San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Toni Elías who lapped with a similar pace to Lorenzo and will be desperate for a good performance on Sunday as he fights for his future in the premier class.

Behind Elías on the grid sits the experienced Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and the Texan’s compatriot Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro), who is enjoying plenty of support from the Ducatisti this weekend.

The top ten also features home rider Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda), Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) - the veteran Italian surviving an off track excursion unscathed during the session.


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