250cc World Championship leader Alvaro Bautista will start Sunday's Italian Grand Prix from pole position after outpacing home star Marco Simoncelli by just 0.014sec.

Reinging champion Simoncelli had been just eighth for Metis Gilera on Friday. The Italian vaulted back into contention on day two, but couldn't prevent Bautista taking his third pole in five attempts for Aspar Aprilia.

Qatar winner Hector Barbera will line-up third for Pepe World Aprilia with Hiroshi Aoyama compelteing the front row for Scot Honda. Aoyama, winner at Jerez, will start the race just one point behind Bautista, who took victory at Motegi.

With Simoncelli winning last time out in Le Mans round five should see the first double winner of the season.

Raffaele de Rosa performed a miraculous save in the closing minutes, guiding his Scot Honda back on track despite hanging off the side with both knees dragging on the ground! Once under control, the Italian calming threw his left leg back over the bike and returned to the pits.

Qualifying - Mugello:

1. Bautista (Aprilia) 1min 52.804sec
2. Simoncelli (Gilera) +0.014sec
3. Barbera (Aprilia) +0.038sec
4. Aoyama (Honda) +0.246sec
5. Debon (Aprilia) +0.769sec
6. Luthi (Aprilia) +0.898sec
7. Wilairot (Honda) +1.007sec
8. Pasini (Aprilia) +1.071sec
9. de Rosa (Honda) +1.137sec
10. Locatelli (Gilera) +1.184sec


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment