After recording his worst result of the season so far with third place in Laguna Seca two weeks ago, Valentino Rossi was firmly back on top of the MotoGP pile with a stunning new pole record at Donington Park on Saturday afternoon.

Rossi's effort put him over half a second clear of his rivals just two minutes from the end of the session, with Sete Gibernau reducing the gap to 0.285secs on the final lap.

"For sure this is a very special pole position because I live here and I am having a lot of fun," grinned the London based Italian. "I think for tomorrow everybody will wake up and hope for good weather because yesterday we lost a lot of time because of the rain.

"Today the situation was better, it was a few degrees warmer and when the conditions are like this it is a great pleasure to ride at Donington Park.

"With the MotoGP bike it is incredible, one of my favourite tracks, and I always go very well here. I am happy because I was able to do a great lap - almost one second faster than last year," he continued.

"The bike is quite good and the feeling is not bad, also with the race configuration. For sure the race will be hard but we will try to fix a few last things in the morning and I hope to do well."

Meanwhile, after setting the pace in yesterday's first free practice sessions and sitting second to Rossi in Saturday morning's session, Rossi's Gauloises Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards slipped to a disappointing sixth in qualifying after a rear tyre experiment went wrong.

"My race pace this morning was really good - consistently around 1min 29.2secs and I'm pretty happy with that. This afternoon I did a 1min 29.6secs on a tyre that had 24 laps on it so we know we're in good shape for the race," claimed Colin.

"I was hoping to push into the 1min 27s on a soft tyre but I tested a different construction rear for seven laps at the start of the session and it gave me a little chatter on the front end, which damaged my confidence a little bit.

"It's my own fault but after that I found it hard to push the front as much as I had done in the morning and didn't quite get the lap time I had hoped for. Anyway, it makes no difference whether I am on the front row or the second row - if you can get a good start you pretty much end up in the same place by the first corner," he concluded.

"Both our riders have a good pace and if it stays dry as we all hope then we feel confident that both Vale and Colin will be at the front," declared team director Davide Brivio.

 

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