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2016 Mugello MotoGP Qualifying Results

Valentino Rossi Claims Pole! | Mugello MotoGP Qualifying Results
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi

Amid a sea of yellow, Valentino Rossi pleased his fellow Italians after claiming pole position Saturday for 2016 Mugello MotoGP, round six of 18. This was the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 pilot’s second pole of 2016; his first arrived at Jerez, where Rossi earned his first and only win so far this season.

Donning an AGV helmet with typical Mugello livery – this year’s lid symbolizing how the Tuscan hills turn yellow during the Italian Grand Prix – the 37-year-old Rossi posted a best lap of 1:46.504 during the final moments of the 15-minute qualifying session.

Rossi claimed pole by 0.094 of a second ahead of Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales, who joins the nine-time World Champion on the factory Yamaha team next year. Taking the final front-row starting position was Friday Free Practice leader, Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone, who will fill the empty Suzuki GSX-RR seat in 2017.

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“I‘m very, very happy because it has been a long time since I last had pole here in Mugello, in the last years I was always struggling a lot. From Free Practice this afternoon we made a good step with the bike and I had a good pace,” Valentino Rossi says. “Qualifying is always difficult, but we followed the right strategy in the right moment of qualifying and I am very happy to start from first position, first of all for all the fans, but especially here it‘s so important that I ride in front.”

Suzuki's Maverick Vinales at Mugello MotoGP Qualifying
Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales

This was Rossi’s first pole at Mugello since 2008 – the last season he won at the Tuscan MotoGP circuit. It should be noted that for the past eight races when Rossi claimed pole position, he also claimed the wins. As for Vinales, this was his third-front row start since joining MotoGP in 2015.

Heading row two was two-time MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez; the Repsol Honda rider qualified ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo, who leads the points battle by five points ahead of Marquez. Lorenzo topped the points after winning at Le Mans two weeks ago.

Rounding out the top 10 qualifying positions were Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich). The top 12 riders were separated by only a second – a trend that’s developing this season.

MotoGP reports that Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing’s Tito Rabat – the 2014 Moto2 Champion – did not participate in qualifying due to breaking his left collarbone during a FP3 crash.

The 21-rider grid returns to Mugello Sunday for the 23-lap Italian Grand Prix, which begins at 2 pm. local time.

2016 Mugello MotoGP Qualifying Results

FRONT ROW

1. V. ROSSI MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1’46.504

2. M. VIÑALES TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’46.598

3. A. IANNONE DUCATI TEAM 1’46.607

SECOND ROW

4. M. MARQUEZ REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1’46.759

5. J. LORENZO MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1’46.882

6. A. DOVIZIOSO DUCATI TEAM 1’47.089

THIRD ROW

7. P. ESPARGARÒ MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 1’47.159

8. A. ESPARGARÒ TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’47.186

9. D. PEDROSA REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1’47.218

FOURTH ROW

10. B. SMITH MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 1’47.247

11. D. PETRUCCI OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH 1’47.261

12. S. REDDING OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH 1’47.359

FIFTH ROW

13. M. PIRRO DUCATI TEAM 1’47.361

14. Y. HERNANDEZ ASPAR TEAM MOTOGP 1’47.436

15. H. BARBERA AVINTIA RACING 1’47.555

SIXTH ROW

16. C. CRUTCHLOW LCR HONDA 1’47.659

17. J. MILLER ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS 1’47.830

18. E. LAVERTY ASPAR TEAM MOTOGP 1’48.111

SEVENTH ROW

19. A. BAUTISTA APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 1’48.372

20. S. BRADL APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 1’48.646

21. L. BAZ AVINTIA RACING 1’48.991

EIGHTH ROW

22. T. RABAT ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS 1’49.648 (free practice time)

Photos by Alessandra Marovino

2016 Mugello MotoGP Qualifying – Photo Gallery