MOTOGP: Rossi Banks First Pole in Four Years at Valencia

RaceChaser Staff Featured, International, MotoGP, Motorcycle Racing 0 Comments

VALENCIA, Spain — official release — MotoGP photo —

Seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi continued a strong 2014 campaign by winning the pole for Sunday’s MotoGP finale at Circuit Ricardo Tormo, his first top qualifying effort in four years.

In what has been a great resurgence for Rossi, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider achieved his 50th career pole in the premier class and his first since Le Mans in 2010 with a 1:30.843 second lap at the end of Q2. The pole position gives Rossi the edge over his colleague Jorge Lorenzo in the battle for second in the championship on Sunday.

“Fifty in MotoGP, that’s a lot of poles! It was a great surprise today,” Rossi said following the run. “I felt good in qualifying, we improved our setting and our first tire wasn’t so bad. The second run we changed something small and I pushed a lot. The second tire had a lot of grip and my first lap was already good. I made a small mistake in Turn 2 and I slowed, maybe saved the rear tire a bit, but I wasn’t expecting pole. I usually prefer the race to qualifying. A good day though.”

Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) looked to be on course for his first pole in MotoGP™ but was beaten by Rossi by 0.132 seconds as the session closed. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) will roll away from third on the grid, having qualified 0.156 seconds behind Rossi.

Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) heads row two and is sure to push hard in the race to beat Rossi, at a track where the Spaniard won last year. A crash for Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) mid session left him in fifth, his worst grid position since Barcelona-Catalunya last year.

Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) completes the second row as he seeks to clinch sixth in the championship in his rookie season.

Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) will line up on row three.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and wild card Michele Pirro (Ducati Team) will line up on the fourth row, with Bradl and Pirro having made it through from Q1.

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