Valentino Rossi's own disappointment at qualifying last for his final home MotoGP appearance at Misano was countered by pride at a surprise debut front-row by younger brother Luca Marini.

Rookie Marini, who will spearhead the VR46 team's full MotoGP entry next season, took his 2019-spec bike to third place behind factory Ducati duo Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller.

But the cold and damp conditions weren't so kind to Rossi, with The Doctor left 23rd and last.

"It was very, very difficult from this morning," Rossi said. "Tricky conditions. It’s wet but not very wet. And after it became more dry. Also the temperature is very cold. In the afternoon with the slicks we had a very narrow dry line and to ride at the limit without mistake is very difficult.

"I never had a good feeling with tyres, or the bike. At the end the position for tomorrow is not fantastic, but the weather forecast for tomorrow is better. I hope for the race we can have the sun, more normal conditions and we have to try to make more better results."

But a smile soon returned to Rossi's face when asked about his brother's best ever qualifying.

"Luca today was fantastic! I am very proud and happy for him for this front row," Rossi said. "He rode very well. Already from Friday morning he was always in front. Today with these difficult conditions he was able to make a fantastic lap.

"The front row is already great for rookie and he was close to the pole position. This is very important for him for his future, his career. Next year we do the team together. I think he’ll have a good bike [GP22] and a good team behind him. He has the speed, the talent, to do some good things."


Rossi unveiled his final special helmet design on Saturday at Misano, featuring a yellow heart and grandstand of Rossi fans

"I think the helmet is beautiful. It’s a good message. It’s a big thanks for all the support through all my career in all these years, for all my fans who are always fantastic.

"This is the last one, the last special helmet. We don’t make a special helmet for Valencia. We’ll do something else there but not that."

"Tomorrow will be a very emotional moment. But at the same time you have to stay concentrated and make the race. So it's not easy. But I’m happy we can say Ciao to all my fans at Misano."

Adding to the Saturday emotions was the ten-year anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death at Sepang.

"10 years. It’s a long time ago. I will remember for ever the moment after the race in Malaysia, it was one of the worst moments of my life at Sepang right after the race," recalled Rossi, who had been one of the riders caught up in Simoncelli's accident.

"I was desperate. I mean, it’s one of those moments you don’t know what to do to try and continue. It was an unforgettable feeling unfortunately. But after was also worse. We lose a great rider that for sure can make a great career and great battles with the modern riders. But also I lose a good friend.

"I share a lot of time together with Marco, especially in the last years from 2006 to 2011. Remain a big hole, you know? I always say Marco was the first rider of the Academy (even) if the VR46 Academy didn’t exist.

"We started for the first time with Marco to help the other riders with the training and with the support and my experience. When I see the riders and Academy now, I always remember Marco."