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Honda

Rossi defies broken leg to make Aragon front row

Legendary Italian former world champion manages to secure a spot on the front row in qualifying for the Aragon MotoGP three weeks after breaking leg

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 September, 2017, 9:47pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 September, 2017, 9:47pm

Valentino Rossi stole the Aragon MotoGP qualifying headlines on Saturday by securing a front-row seat on the grid a mere three weeks after double leg fracture surgery.

The wounded nine-time champion, wearing a surgical stocking, defied medical experts and gritted his teeth through the pain to post the third fastest time for Sunday’s race behind his Yamaha teammate Maverick Vinales and Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo.

World champion Marc Marquez appeared set for pole only to crash on his Honda two minutes from the end of his session, having already taken a tumble in final practice.

The Spaniard starts on the second row in the company of Cal Crutchlow and Dani Pedrosa.

Seconds after Marquez’s premature exit Rossi was topping the timesheets, only to be bettered as the session drew to a dramatic close by first Vinales and then Lorenzo.

Rossi, placed fourth in the world championship standings, broke his leg in two places in a training accident on August 31.

Operated on the following day his medical team had initially forecast a return for the next race in Japan.

But that was without counting on the 38-year-old veteran’s remarkable resilience as he targets a tenth world title and eighth in the top category.