Valentino Rossi wins Spanish Grand Prix

Espargaro We have options outside Yamaha for '17

Reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo, who is Rossi's teammate, won the year-opening Grand Prix at Qatar, with Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso finishing in second and double world champion Marc Marquez of Honda in third.

It was the Italian's 52nd career pole in the top category.

Rossi snatched pole from Yamaha teammate Lorenzo on his final lap by just over a tenth of a second with championship leader Marquez completing the front row in third. The Doctor is 37 years old and racing out of his skin today.

Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi has won at the fourth round of the MotoGP season at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain in what he has described as the 'end to a ideal weekend'.

Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi of Italy takes a curve during the Valencia Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Ricardo Tormo racetrack in Cheste, near Valencia, November 8, 2015.

As the race wore on, Rossi continued to pull away from the pack, while Lorenzo and Marquez seemed to be locked into the podium positions, as the riders looked content to consolidate their World Championship points. "I had a good start, we had good pace and I felt good with the bike from the beginning". For that reason, I slowed down a little bit to keep this place.

"The important thing is I think we have rhythm on the hard tyre, we found a good setting on the final practice and we'll see tomorrow in what will be a hard race".

By contrast, Rossi has struggled to respond to the disappointment of missing out on the championship previous year having led for most of the season.

Marc Marquez starts from third place on the grid, which is his worst qualifying performance since he was third fastest qualifier at Motegi a year ago.

Dani Pedrosa ran ahead of his team-mate briefly early in the race and eventually finished fourth, ahead of Suzuki pair Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales.

Andrea Iannone (Ducati) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) had a great battle on track for a few laps as Crutchlow refused to lose a place to the Italian.

"Of course, maybe past year it was different but this winter I learned a lot and already before the race [Shuhei] Nakamoto [HRC vice-president] say to me, "please finish the race".



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