LUCO DI MUGELLO - Italy's nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi will start on pole for Sunday's Italian MotoGP at Mugello after topping qualifying times.

The 37-year-old will line up in the first row with Spaniard Maverick Vinales (Suzuki) and fellow Italian Andrea Iannone (Ducati). It was a return to pole for Rossi in Italy for the first time since 2008, when he achieved his last victory on the Tuscan circuit. "Here it's crucial to start on the front row and the atmosphere generated by all this crowd is always fantastic," said Rossi.

It will be the Yamaha rider's 53rd pole in MotoGP and 63rd of his career, the same as his teammate Jorge Lorenzo, winner of the French Grand Prix, who starts from the second row. Spaniard Lorenzo, the championship leader, will start behind compatriot Vinales, who as at the Qatar MotoGP will again start on the front row.

Spaniard Marc Marquez, second in the championship, five points behind Lorenzo, clocked the fourth fastest time and will start just behind the Italian. In Moto 2, Britain's Sam Lowes of Kalex, second in the championship, is on pole for the sixth time in his career and third this season, ahead of Japan's Takaaki Nakagami and Lorenzo Baldassari of Italy. Italy's Romano Fenati of KTM will start from pole in the Moto3 category, the third of his career beside compatriot Andrea Migno and Malaysian 17-year-old Khairul Idham Pawi, surprise winner this season in Argentina.