Valentino Rossi left it late to surge up the qualifying leaderboard to grab a second row start for the Indianapolis MotoGP.

Rossi clocked a time 1m 32.160s with 10 seconds to go to jump from ninth to fourth place before he was demoted to fifth by Forward Yamaha's Aleix Espargaro.

But the nine-time world champion, who is 0.541s down on the pole time set by Marc Marquez, is satisfied with his place on the grid.

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"I'm quite happy. It was possible to do a little better, especially because I was good this afternoon," said the Movistar Yamaha rider.

"During Free Practice 4 I was consistently fast, but starting from the top five is ok for the race. It would have been better to start from the first row, but it's also ok from the top five.

"I'm quite happy because I'm riding the bike well. I have a good pace and we improved the setting a lot, but the rear tyre choice will be crucial," added Rossi.

"The soft and hard options are very similar, so it will be a very important decision for tomorrow's race.

"Here, on the new tarmac, the track changes a lot with every practice session. It now looks like the softer tyre is becoming better while yesterday it was impossible to use, but the two options are very similar.

"I think some riders can use the hard. Some riders can use the soft. So it will be very important to make the right choice."

"For me the stronger guys are Marquez and also Lorenzo. But Marquez is a bit faster. But this is just Saturday. Maybe tomorrow we can improve. For me, we are not very far. But Marc, at the end, is always in front."