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Vinales storms to pole, Rossi wins hearts at Aragon MotoGP
Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales stormed to pole position ahead of Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo and his Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi at the Aragon MotoGP in Spain on Sunday.
Rossi, though, was the star of the day as he secured a front row start for Sunday’s race a mere three weeks after undergoing a double leg fracture surgery.
The 38-year-old nine time champion broke his leg in two places in a training accident on 31 August.
“It’s a big surprise for me, one week ago I started to think I could race but I didn’t know what to expect,” Rossi told BT Sport.
“I was in quite a lot of pain in Misano [the Italian circuit where he tested his fitness on Tuesday] but luckily the leg has got better day by day, I can ride with a bit of pain. It’s very important to start from the front row,” he said.
Defending world champion Marc Marquez of Honda, who was the fastest in the practice session just before qualifying, appeared set for pole only to crash two minutes from the end of his session.
Marquez, who leads the championship with Andrea Dovizioso starts fifth on the grid while Dovizioso starts seventh.
Rossi trails Marquez and Dovizioso by 42 points while Vinales trails the leaders by just 16 points.