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Page last updated at 07:54 GMT, Saturday, 24 October 2009 08:54 UK

Rossi clinches pole in Malaysia

Malaysian MotoGP, Sepang
Date: Sunday, 25 October
125 and 250cc race: 0350-0605 GMT, BBC Red Button/online
MotoGP: 0645-0800 GMT, BBC One/online, Race repeat 1230-1330 GMT, BBC Two/online


Rossi relieved to clinch pole

Valentino Rossi made the perfect start to his bid to seal a successful defence of his world title in Malaysia by claiming pole for Sunday's grand prix.

The 30-year-old Italian will win his seventh world crown in this class if he can finish in the top four places.

Rossi's Yamaha team-mate and nearest rival Jorge Lorenzo, who is behind in the championship standings by 38 points, came home second quickest.

Dani Pedrosa completed the front row, with Casey Stoner in fourth place.

Rossi's stunning performance, which delivered a lap record at the Sepang circuit, came in sweltering heat and humidity.

In recognition of his achievement, the defending champion pulled a wheelie and raised his left hand as he entered the pit lane at the end of qualifying.

Rossi, who broke Stoner's 2007 lap record of 2min 2.108sec, said: "The team worked well. The bike performed well. Hence I was able to go faster.

"It is great to start from pole position - its a good position.

"We have good settings on the bike and we have a good pace."

Rossi has had five wins and two other podium finishes from nine races at the Malaysian circuit.

Qualifying results for Malaysian Grand Prix:

1 Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 2mins 00.518secs
2 Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Yamaha 2:01.087
3 Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Honda 2:01.254
4 Casey Stoner (Aus) Ducati 2:01.455
5 Loris Capirossi (Ita) Suzuki 2:01.716
6 Toni Elias (Spa) Honda 2:01.918
7 Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati 2:01.980
8 Randy De Puniet (Fra) Honda 2:02.098
9 Colin Edwards (USA) Yamaha 2:02.195
10 Alex De Angelis (Smr) Honda 2:02.274.

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see also
Stoner holds off Rossi in MotoGP
18 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Steve Parrish's MotoGP column
23 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Lorenzo wins to reduce Rossi lead
04 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
MotoGP on the BBC
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP

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