MUGELLO, Italy -- Valentino Rossi claimed his fifth pole in five MotoGP races this season after setting a lap record in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.
Honda's Italian world champion took more than a second off Testuya Harada's record set in 1999 as he continued his impressive record of securing the pole in every race this year with a time of 1:51.528.
Rossi's compatriot Max Biaggi claimed second on his Yamaha while Spaniard Carlos Checa will start in third, also on a Yamaha.
Checa, the only rider not to improve on his Friday time, maintained his provisional pole until three minutes from the end when he was surpassed by Biaggi.
But the Rome rider's joy was short lived as Rossi posted his record time.
Italian Loris Capirossi completes Sunday´s front line, while Frenchman Olivier Laconi will start fifth after producing his best qualifying performance of the season.
In the 250cc class, Aprilia's Italian rider Franco Battaini took his third pole of the year ahead of Argentina's Sebastian Porto on a Yamaha.
World champion Manuel Poggiali claimed the pole in the 125cc class in a session which included a 20-minute stoppage as emergency services tried to free Max Sabbatani after he fell and trapped his leg under his bike.
The Italian suffered a serious fracture of the leg.