MotoGP: Martin on pole with Rossi 10th in qualifying at Valencia GP

Spanish rookie Jorge Martin snatched pole from Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia as seven-times MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi finished 10th in qualifying in his final race at the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix on Saturday.

Australian Jack Miller of Ducati will start third on the grid ahead of Spain’s outgoing world champion Joan Mir in fourth. Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo, who sealed his maiden title last month, could only manage eighth place.

Italy’s Bagnaia seemed headed for a sixth straight pole when he slid off at turn two and had his lap time bettered almost immediately by Martin of Pramac Racing. Miller, the only rider on a medium front tyre, also crashed at the end of qualifying.

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Rossi, who had managed a surprise direct entry to Q2, suffered an early blow when he overran the first turn while trailing Bagnaia. The 42-year-old Italian briefly moved into seventh but dropped to 10th in the later stages.

Earlier, Repsol Honda’s Pol Espargaro missed qualifying after being taken to hospital following a crash during the third free practice session on Saturday morning.

Team manager Alberto Puig said the Spaniard had suffered no serious injuries but will continue to be assessed.

Espargaro’s team mate and six-times MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez is also absent in Valencia, having withdrawn after an off-road training accident last week.

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