Valentino Rossi shone on a good day for Yamaha as the Italian star claimed his maiden front row start of the season to join pole-sitter Jorge Lorenzo at the head of the pack at Misano.

Rossi's best lap of 1m 33.302s was only 0.064s down on Lorenzo, with the Movistar Yamaha pair split by Pramac Racing's Andrea Iannone.

It was a terrific display by Rossi, who quickly put a difficult day behind him after finishing in a lowly 10th place during Friday's rain-lashed free practice sessions at the San Marino MotoGP.

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"This morning was not so bad but this afternoon we made a huge step with the setting of the bike and with a used tyre I could be very fast, which is the most important thing for tomorrow," Rossi said.

"I'm so satisfied because it's the first, first row of the season. I always struggle in qualifying. In the last races I was able to improve my level to stay always on the second row but the front row is so important for tomorrow, it's much easier to start at the front.

"I'm also happy because my lap time is close to the pole position, I feel good with the bike, I had a good practice and I have a good setting," he added.

"It looks like the Yamaha is very competitive here so we have to fix some small things and be ready for tomorrow."