Lorenzo takes pole ahead of Rossi for San Marino GP

The Yamaha star is joined on the front row in Sunday's MotoGP race by his teammate and local hero Valentino Rossi, and Suzuki's British GP winner Maverick Vinales.

Jorge Lorenzo San Marino MotoGP Qualifying

Lorenzo is placed third in the riders' championship.   -  Getty Images

World MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo will start from pole for Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix after posting the quickest time in qualifying at the Misano circuit on Saturday.

The Yamaha star is joined on the front row in Sunday's race by his teammate and local hero Valentino Rossi, and Suzuki's British GP winner Maverick Vinales.

Lorenzo is placed third in the riders' championship, 64 points behind Marc Marquez, who was fourth quickest in qualifying to start on the second row.

The Spaniard, world champion in 2013 and 2014, has for company on the second row Italian duo Michele Pirro and Andrea Dovizioso.

Lorenzo's best lap time of 1min 31.868 has given him a major chance of registering his fourth win at the circuit renamed in honour of the late Italian rider Marco Simoncelli.

Lorenzo, notching up the 64th pole of his career, was victorious from 2011 to 2013 and earned a top-three spot on every occasion prior to crashing out of last year's race.

But Rossi, born less than one hour's drive away in Urbino, will be hot on his heels in his bid to delight the local partisan crowd and reduce his 50 point deficit on Marquez in the standings.

San Marino GP Starting Grid:

1st row: 1. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) 1:31.868 (new track record); 2. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) at 0.348s; 3. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Suuki) 0.513

2nd row: 4. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 0.575; 5. Michele Pirro (ITA/Ducati) 0.599; 6. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 0.809

3rd row: 7. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda LCR) 0.875; 8. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 0.991; 9. Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Suzuki) 1.050

4th row: 10. Pol Espargaro (ESP/Yamaha Tech3) 1.134; 11. Hector Barbera (ESP/Ducati Avintia) 1.433; 12. Alvaro Bautista (ESP/Aprilia) 2.061

5th row: 13. Stefan Bradl (ESP/Aprilia); 14. Alex Lowes (GBR/Yamaha Tech3); 15. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati Pramac)