Valentino Rossi was knocked off the front row of the grid for tomorrow's Dutch TT in the dying moments of qualifying at Assen this afternoon.
The Factory Yamaha rider will start from fourth place for the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship, after a stunning final lap by Cal Crutchlow lifted the British star from fourth to pole, with Rossi also behind Marc Marquez and Stefan Bradl.
Rossi missed out on the front row by a mere 0.096s, but the nine-time world champion is content with his pace in both the wet and dry and happier with his M1 after set-up improvements during the Catalunya and Aragon tests.
“I'm happy for my speed, my pace and my performance in the practices,” said Rossi, who has suffered third row starts in all but one of the previous rounds this season. “I feel good with the setting of the bike. It's a pity I didn't stay on the first row as I think I had the potential to do a little better and stay in the first three.
“Anyway, I'm fourth, the best qualifying of the season and especially I have a good pace, even after a lot of laps so I'm happy.
“Now we wait for tomorrow, we have some small modifications to make to the settings and we have to hope that the weather will be good,” added Rossi. “I hope for a dry race, but if it is wet I hope it is 100% wet, half and half is the worst conditions.”
The Italian is still chasing his second podium of the season, having been absent from the rostrum since the opening round in Qatar.
Rossi's team-mate, Jorge Lorenzo, did not take part in final qualifying after breaking his collarbone during a fall in FP2 yesterday. However, there is uncertainty over whether or not Lorenzo will take part in tomorrow's race after the reigning world champion returned to Assen today following surgery in Barcelona.
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