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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 June, 2005, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
Rossi strikes late to grab pole
Valentino Rossi
Rossi is chasing a fourth win in five races this season
Valentino Rossi thrilled his home fans by snatching pole position for Sunday's Italian MotoGP in the final seconds of qualifying at Mugello.

The world champion set the fastest-ever lap at the circuit in one minute 49.223 seconds to knock Sete Gibernau off top spot with his final effort.

Max Biaggi was third, ahead of Repsol Honda team-mate Nicky Hayden.

John Hopkins was fifth for Team Suzuki, with Marlboro Ducati rider Loris Capirossi sixth after a late mistake.

Rossi, who is seeking a fourth straight victory at his home circuit, has won three of the four races so far this season.

The Gauloises Yamaha rider holds a 37-point lead over Marco Melandri, who qualified seventh, in the title race, with Melandri's Telefonica Movistar Honda team-mate Gibernau a further five points back.

Championship leader Mika Kallio was fastest in 125cc qualifying ahead of KTM team-mate Gabor Talmacsi and Aprilia's Hector Faubel.

Mugello qualifying results:
1 Valentino Rossi (It) Yamaha 1:49.223
2 Sete Gibernau (Sp) Honda 1:49.361
3 Max Biaggi (It) Honda 1:49.458
4 Nicky Hayden (US) Honda 1:49.546
5 John Hopkins (US) Suzuki 1:49.556
6 Loris Capirossi (It) Ducati 1:49.633
7 Marco Melandri (It) Honda 1:49.805
8 Carlos Checa (Sp) Ducati 1:49.811
9 Shinya Nakano (Jpn) Kawasaki 1:49.856
10 Makoto Tamada (Jpn) Honda 1:49.951
11 Kenny Roberts (US) Suzuki 1:50.052
12 Colin Edwards (US) Yamaha 1;50.176
13 Alex Barros (Brz) Honda 1:50.281
14 Alex Hofmann (Ger) Kawasaki 1:51.056
15 Ruben Xaus (Sp) Yamaha 1:51.585

Interview: Valentino Rossi

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