Viñales grabs pole position for Aragon motorcycle Grand Prix

Spain’s Marc Marquez

Valentino Rossi finished a respectable fifth in his comeback race at Aragon in northern Spain, just 25 days after suffering a double fracture of his right leg.

But in Sunday's practice he almost hit the tarmac, somehow maintaining his balance as Rabat touched his back wheel at turn 14 - the Spaniard unable to do the same as he went sprawling across the track.

Victory for Marc Marquez means Rossi now trails the Spaniard by 56 points in the championship standings.

Another Spanish rider, Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati), completed the podium.

The third row of the grid sees Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso lining up seventh, with Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro eighth and Aspar Ducati's Alvaro Bautista ninth. At the end, over the final laps I was a bit exhausted and my leg was causing some pain.

The Repsol Honda rider rode a loose and sometimes out of control race at the Motorland Aragon circuit - but came out on top at the end and with his lead over Andrea Dovizioso extended from zero points to a relatively huge 16.

"Later we both improved the pace and when I got passed him I could really catch the front group, but Marc was in the lead already and could play with the gap".

Looking for his first win since swapping Yamaha for Ducati at the start of the season Lorenzo led for most of the race after beating pole-sitter Vinales to the first corner. But the five-time world champion easily moved through, subsequently qualifying on the front row.

The battle for fourth was an-all Yamaha affair, with Rossi unable to contain teammate Vinales and conceding the place with two laps to go at Turn 1.

However, he hopes to be close to 100% fitness for the start of three races in a frantic three weeks starting at the Japanese Grand Prix on October 15.

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