Valentino Rossi has taken his Repsol Honda RC211V to the top spot in the first qualifying session at the sixth round of the MotoGP World Championship in Catalunya, Spain.
The Italian rider waited until the last minute to set his best time putting in 24 laps before clocking a 1:44.842, just 0.319 seconds outside the lap record, set by Rossi last year.
Spanish rider Sete Gibernau took the second fastest time in front of his home crowd, bringing his Telefonica Movistar Honda RCV home 0.205 seconds behind Rossi.
Gibernau only just managed to hang on to second place though, with Colin Edwards going just 0.007 seconds slower on his Aprilia RS3.
Loris Capirossi was fourth fastest on the Ducati Desmosedici, followed by Alex Barros, Max Biaggi, Olivier Jacque and Tohru Ukawa who all finished less than a second behind Rossi.
Kawasaki Racing test rider Akira Yanagawa brought his ZX-RR home ahead of both of his full time team-mates, Gary McCoy and Andrew Pitt, taking the 17th fastest time at 1:47.450.
The Japanese rider entered the Spanish round as a wildcard after the team decided to stay on after Sunday’s race for two full days of testing.
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