Despite concerns expressed by some riders about the softness of even the harder compound choice, the Jerez showdown was a quicker outing for eventual victor Rossi than it was for 2008 racewinner Dani Pedrosa.
Casey Stoner's third place finish in 2007 is his only podium in any class of racing at the Le Mans circuit.
After yesterdays rain it was another grey morning and the practice session was run in the dry but with track temperatures reaching only 17 degrees.
With the track still wet from a rainy morning all riders started the race on rain tyres, with the mechanics readying the dry bikes in pit lane in anticipation of an early change as the track dried out.
Below is a brief summary of each of his thirteen GP races he has started at Mugello:
1996/125cc/Aprilia: Qualified 8th/Finished 4th: His first Grand Prix appearance at Mugello was just his 5th GP start, and after leading a Grand Prix for the first time he finished 4th just 1.6 seconds behind race victor Peter Ottl.
Lorenzo leads the championship from his team-mate by just one point and he looked in top form once again this afternoon.
Fans at Mugello were treated to a great battle in qualifying on Saturday afternoon, with Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo upstaging his teammate Valentino Rossi at the World Champion's home track - the Spaniard taking pole and the Italian left off the front row.
In brilliant sunshine at the Gran Premio d'Italia Alice four riders fought for pole right at the death. Lorenzo eventually emerged on top, courtesy of a 1'48.987 time on the 29th of his 30 laps, beating Casey Stoner by a tight margin (0.021s).
Jorge Lorenzo took his second pole and fifth front row of the season after a scintillating qualifying session in Italy this afternoon, which left the top four riders separated by less than two tenths of a second. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi qualified fourth and finds himself off the front row at Mugello for the first time since 1999, when he was still in 250s.
Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi took battling podium positions in the Italian Grand Prix today, after an action-packed afternoon saw the riders forced to swap bikes for the second race in a row due to changing weather conditions. Lorenzo recovered from a crash on the sighting lap to come home in second behind Casey Stoner, whilst Rossi finally surrendered the crown he has worn at his home track for the past seven years and had to be content with third.
Mugello was Ducati’s first true home triumph. At the track where Ducati test and develop their MotoGP machine Valentino Rossi has been dominant on Honda and Yamaha, but finally the legendary Italian rider’s winning streak at the Gran Premio d’Italia Alice was broken, giving the thousands of Ducatisti the perfect reason to party.
Ducati Corse CEO - Claudio Domenicali Speaks...
Mallorcan-born Lorenzo lived in Barcelona for much of his early career and after a brief hiatus in London last year he has now returned to live in his beloved home city.
Valentino Rossi Speaks...
MotoGP Race Report: Catalunya
As at Jerez and Le Mans, Spanish riders have taken all three pole positions; however no Spanish rider has won from pole this year. The weekend in Catalunya turned out to be action packed in all three classes.
Pleae read on for all the full race summary in MotoGP, 250cc and 125cc. We have also included a photo gallery.
Round seven of the 2009 FIM MotoGP World Championship takes place this coming weekend in The Netherlands with the Alice TT Assen giving Valentino Rossi the chance to turn up the heat on his title rivals at one of the most popular circuits on the calendar.