Record-breaking Rossi grabs pole

BRNO (Czech Republic): World champion Valentino Rossi set another lap record to take pole position for today's Czech Grand Prix here. 

The Italian Honda rider set the fastest lap of 1:58.769 ahead of Spanish title rival rider Sete Gibernau at 0.130, with Italians Max Biaggi and Loris Capirossi completing the front row. 

Rossi smashed the record 1:59.520 set by Biaggi on Friday to give himself his first pole since since the Catalan GP in June. 

The Honda rider is hoping to end his worst winning drough in three years during the tenth leg of the world championships series. 

Rossi still leads the world championship but his advantage over Gibernau is down to just 29 points after the Spaniard made the most of a rare slip by Rossi to take victory in the German Grand Prix in the last round in July. 

Rossi's dry spell now stretches to four races and he comes to a Czech Grand Prix with last year's nightmare race here still fresh in his mind – he failed to finish while Biaggi took his first win of the season. 

Earlier Japanese MotoGP rider Shinya Nakano was hospitalised after suffering a loss of memory following a heavy crash during free practice. 

The 25-year-old Yamaha rider lost control coming out of a wide left bend and fell heavily, sliding along the track before crashing into the tyre barrier, followed by his bike which struck him. 

He was transported by ambulance to the mobile clinic on site where he received treatment from Italian doctor Claudio Costa, before being airlifted to Brno hospital, conscious but suffering from a loss of memory. – AFP  

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