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Sport

Morbidelli clinches pole at Valencia Grand Prix

(Reuters) - Italian Franco Morbidelli clinched his second pole position of the season for Petronas Yamaha at the Valencia Grand Prix on Saturday.

Morbidelli posted a fastest lap time of one minute 30.191 seconds and will start from the front of the grid, ahead of Jack Miller of Pramac Racing.

“I feel good. We need to see the conditions tomorrow but I feel good. Today was pretty tough but I was able to take risks at the right moments to get the pole, which is great,” said Morbidelli, who is fifth in the World Championship standings.

Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami will begin Sunday’s race from third on the grid, his third successive front row start.

“Another front row start is really important for tomorrow. Fingers crossed and I hope to keep pushing,” Nakagami said.

Championship leader Joan Mir, who will clinch the title with a podium finish, will start from 12th, one spot behind contender Fabio Quartararo of Petronas Yamaha.

Mir’s Suzuki team mate Alex Rins’ title aspirations were dealt a blow as he failed to make it into the second qualifying session.

Seven-times premier class champion Valentino Rossi of Monster Yamaha who was cleared to race this weekend after a COVID-19 scare, will start from 16th on the grid.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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