Barrichello takes pole for Italian GP

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Brazilian Rubens Barrichello put Ferrari on pole position for their home Italian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Rubens Barrichello gave Ferrari fans the pole position they were expecting from Michael Schumacher on Saturday, claiming the number one starting spot for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix. The Brazilian edged out Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya and Schumacher, the newly crowned seven times world champion. He completed a lap of one minute, 20.089 seconds on the 5.793 kilometres Monza circuit, nearly one second faster than the time that had earned Schumacher last year's pole. It was the 11th career pole for Barrichello, who started first at Indianapolis but hasn't won since last year's Japanese Grand Prix. Schumacher has won 12 of the 14 races this season. Among Barrichello's seven victories was the 2002 Monza race. Record broken Montoya, who shattered his own lap record in pre-qualifying, had a best effort in his Williams in 1:20.620 after leading at the first split. The Colombian, who earned his first Formula One victory at Monza in 2001, had a lap of 1:19.525 during the morning pre-qualifying. Montoya has one victory and a second-place finish in the last three years at Monza. Schumacher, who clinched a record seventh title at the Belgian Grand Prix on August 29, had a lap of 1:20.637 and will start from the second row. Schumacher, who escaped injury from a high-speed crash during team tests at Monza last week, has 62 career poles, three short of Ayrton Senna's record. Three races remain in the season after Italy - China, Japan and Brazil. Other standings Schumacher will be alongside with Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard was fourth fastest for Renault, second in the championship, on a bright afternoon in the former royal park near Milan. Japan's Takuma Sato qualified fifth for BAR alongside British team mate Jenson Button with McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, winner in Belgium, seventh. Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia, standing in again for recuperating German Ralf Schumacher at Williams, was eighth. Sunday's 53 lap event is the 15th in the 18-race calendar and the last of the season in Europe.(AP)

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