Marc Marquez on pole as Valentino Rossi disappoints in 300th MotoGP
May 31, 2014 -- Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT)
Valentino Rossi was left to rue a mistaken choice of tire in final qualifying for the Italian MotoGP at Mugello.
- Marc Marquez takes pole for Italian MotoGP
- Six straight poles for dominant world champion
- Valentino Rossi back in 10th on home circuit at Miugello
- Rossi in his 300th MotoGP race
Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook
(CNN) -- Valentino Rossi will have to do it the hard way if he is to mark his 300th MotoGP with victory in front of his adoring home fans at Mugello.
Rossi could only manage 10th fastest on his Yamaha in final qualifying, way off the pace set by the reigning world champion Marc Marquez of Spain Saturday.
A lap of one minute 47.270 seconds lap gave Marquez his sixth straight pole of the 2014 campaign as he bids for his sixth successive victory for the all-conquering Repsol Honda works team.
Introducing "The Doctor" of MotoGP -- Valentino Rossi briefly leads Marc Marquez at the French MotoGP on 18 May 2014.
300-up for MotoGP legend Rossi
But for the 35-year-old MotoGP legend Rossi there was bitter disappointment after a mistake in tire choice left him uncompetitive.
Read: Rossi seeks appointment with destiny in 300th race
"It was the wrong decision, I felt really bad with the softer front and I was unable to improve my lap time.
"It's a great shame, because I had a good potential and could have started on the front, my pace is good with the bike, but it's like this. Tomorrow from the fourth row everything will be harder and more difficult," added the Italian.
Nine-time world champion Rossi has returned to form this season and chased Marquez home in the latest round in Le Mans in France, but the whole field has struggled to match the defending title holder this season.
Read: Marquez edges out Rossi in Qatar opener
Home rider Andrea Iannone came within 0.18 seconds of snatching pole from Marquez, with Spain's two-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha third fastest.
Marquez's teammate Dani Pedrosa -- the lap record holder at Mugello -- was fourth best ahead of another Spaniard, Pol Espargaro of ~Yamaha.
The two Ducati's of Cal Crutchlow of Great Britain and Italian Andrea Dovizioso were sixth and eighth with another Briton, Bradley Smith, in seventh.
But all eyes at the circuit in Tuscany will be on the remarkable Rossi to see if he can turn a series of second places to Marquez this season into his first victory to mark his milestone.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 1714 GMT (0114 HKT)
Glitz... check, glamor... check. Teams going bust... er, check. F1 generates billion-dollar revenues, so why can't some of its teams stay afloat?
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 1814 GMT (0214 HKT)
With the sport currently facing up to a financial crisis, motorsport journalist Ed Foster explores the history of F1 sponsorship.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
October 12, 2014 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1039 GMT (1839 HKT)
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.