Valentino Rossi took a hard fall and fractured his right tibia during Saturday’s early practice at Mugello.
What started out as a normal practice session at Mugello turned into a horrible day for Fiat Yamaha as reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi suffered a terrible crash and fractured his right tibia during Saturday’s practice at the Italian GP. The accident occurred at Turn 13 near the top of the chicane when his M1 highsided and launched him from the bike. He underwent X-rays trackside and it was confirmed that Rossi suffered a displaced and exposed fracture. An operation has been set for Saturday afternoon, and his time of recovery has yet to be determined.
This leaves the door to the World Championship wide-open. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa jumped on the opportunity and will start the Italian GP from pole position after securing the top time in Saturday’s qualifying. His best effort came late in the session as Pedrosa put in a hot lap of 1’48.819 which was good enough for first. This is Pedrosa’s second pole of the 2010 season and his 15th overall in the premier class.
Off Pedrosa’s pace by just 0.177-seconds was Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge
Dani Pedrosa secured his second pole of the 2010 season and overtook Jorge Lorenzo by just 0.177 seconds.
Lorenzo. After becoming the first rider of the weekend to dip below the 1’49” barrier, Lorenzo’s time was overtaken late in the session by Pedrosa. For the third time in a row Lorenzo will be attempting to take a win from a second-place start. With Rossi out of the picture, Lorenzo moves into the role as the man to beat for the World Championship.
The last rider to qualify on the front row was Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner. After finding a decent setup, Stoner managed to run just 0.613-seconds off the lead pace of Pedrosa. Stoner’s teammate Nicky Hayden followed shortly thereafter with the fourth-best time on Saturday and will head up the second row.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards and LCR Honda’s Randy de Puniet put in good runs for fifth and sixth respectively.
American rookie Ben Spies secured the seventh quickest-time in his first qualifying session at the Mugello circuit. Pedrosa’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso will be starting from the third row after taking eighth-place on the timesheets at his home race.
Rounding out the top-10 were Pramac Racing’s Aleix Espargaró in ninth followed by Interwetten Honda’s Hiroshi Aoyama, who was pleased to secure a top-10 result in qualifying.
A bulk of Italian riders placed outside the top-10 including Marco Simoncelli in 11th, Loris Capirossi in 12th and Hector Barbera in 13th. Marco Melandri of San Carlo Gresini Honda followed Barbera in 14th and was off Pedrosa’s pace by less than two seconds.
MotoGP Mugello Qualifying Results:
After taking second-place behind Pedrosa during qualifying, Lorenzo offered Rossi his best wishes, saying: “I want to say how sad I am for Valentino. I know how bad it is to be injured, especially at your home race, and it looks very painful for him. I hope he recovers quickly because the Championship will not be the same without him.”
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’48.819
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’48.996
3. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1’49.432
4. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’49.546
5. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’49.683
6. Randy de Puniet (Honda) 1’49.737
7. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’49.861
8. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’50.065
9. Aleix Espargaro (Ducati) 1’50.168
10. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’50.224
11. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’50.434
12. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 1’50.479
13. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’50.561
14. Marco Melandri (Honda) 1’50.664
15. Mika Kallio (Ducati) 1’50.970
16. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1’53.243
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)