Valentino Rossi will start from a 2013 best of fifth on the grid in Sunday's Spanish MotoGP, despite a big accident at the end of qualifying at Jerez.

The seven time MotoGP champion was one of three high-profile fallers during the short 15-minute pole shootout, the Italian fortunate to walk away from a spill that caused significant damage to his Factory Yamaha.

"Unfortunately at the end I had a crash but I'm ok," said Rossi. "I was pushing hard and when I opened the throttle I lost the front. It is a fast corner, the bike was damaged but I don't have any problems.

"The position is the best qualifying for us this year. The second row is quite good, our minimum target, but we can also do better.

"The bigger issue now is how high the rhythm will be with the used tyre in the race. Especially with the hot conditions the rear tyre slides a lot, so it is important to see how high the rhythm is after seven or eight laps.

"Now we try to make the best setting and we will see tomorrow. Usually we are stronger on Sunday."

Yamaha team director Massimo Meregalli confirmed: "The main issue will be the race distance, as we have seen over the last two days that the tyre life could create some problems, but it looks like everybody has the same issue."

Rossi qualified seventh and eighth - and finished second and sixth - in the first two events of his 2013 Yamaha return.

Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow also suffered lowside falls during Saturday's hot and slippery qualifying session. Rossi's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will start his home race from pole position.



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