Motorcycling - Rossi plays down qualifying crash

Valentino Rossi does not think his heavy crash at the end of Jerez MotoGP qualifying will have any impact on his race prospects.

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Valentino Rossi. (Reuters)

Rossi was one of several riders to fall in the closing moments of qualifying in Spain.

Although his Yamaha tumbled violently through the gravel at the quick Criville corner, Rossi was thrown clear and escaped unhurt.

"Unfortunately at the end I crashed at a fast corner, but luckily I am OK," he told reporters at Jerez.

"I had some damage on the bike but the important thing is that I'm well and I'm ready for tomorrow."

Rossi still held on to fifth on the grid, his best qualifying result since returning to Yamaha. He feels this is an ideal place to start a race expecting to be a tyre-wear challenge.

"It looks like the top five have a better pace compared to the other guys, so it will be crucial tomorrow to stay in the top five and to understand the rhythm that they can keep after the first four or five laps.

"At the beginning it will be a very high pace, but in the second part of the race it will be difficult to manage the tyres.

"It will be very important to work on the balance so the bike doesn't use the rear tyre too much."

Rossi's Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo took pole, and said he had been careful to avoid the sort of incidents that Rossi, Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow suffered.

"I knew the track was difficult because there were a lot of crashes. So I said 'OK, I'm going to try my best in the conditions we have, and try to get a perfect lap,'" said Lorenzo.

"I didn't get it because I made mistakes in some braking areas and went wide but anyway it was still a very good lap and we have a pole position."

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