June 3, 2017 / 2:04 PM / 2 years ago

Vinales on pole with Rossi alongside at Mugello

ROME (Reuters) - MotoGP championship leader Maverick Vinales took pole position for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello on Saturday, while veteran Yamaha team mate Valentino Rossi delighted the home crowd with second place on the grid.

The Spaniard lapped the scenic circuit north of Florence with a best time of one minute 46.575 seconds, 0.239 quicker than 38-year-old Rossi, at the end of qualifying to secure his second successive pole and third in six races this season.

Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso qualified third to make it two Italians on the front row, with team test rider Michele Pirro fourth.

Honda’s Spanish pair Dani Pedrosa and triple world champion Marc Marquez start fifth and sixth respectively.

Nine-times champion Rossi arrived at his home track in some pain and after spending a night in hospital with chest injuries due to a fall while riding a motocross bike in training last week.

He said on Friday that he was still struggling physically, especially with his breathing, and pain on his right side when he accelerated.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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