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Schumacher on pole
September 13, 2003 21:04 IST
Michael Schumacher has roared back to form with a vengeance to seize pole position for Ferrari's home Italian Grand Prix and set up a front row duel with title rival Juan Pablo Montoya.
It was the five-times world champion's first pole position since the Austrian Grand Prix in May, a race he won, and the 55th of his career.
Schumacher, who has not led a race since June and leads Williams'sMontoya by just one point with two races remaining after Monza, lapped in one minute 20.963 seconds.
Montoya was the second quickest, the Colombian deprived of his third Monza pole position in a row by a mere 0.051 of a second.
Ferrari's Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, last year's winner in a one-two finish that delighted the red army of tifosi, was third fastest and starts alongside McLaren's championship contender Kimi Raikkonen.
The Finn is two points behind Schumacher in the standings.
Spaniard Marc Gene, stepping into Ralf Schumacher's Williams after the German was ruled out on medical grounds following his crash at Monza last week, qualified fifth for his first race since 2000.
But compatriot Fernando Alonso, who became the youngest driver to win a race when he triumphed in Hungary last month, spun his Renault as he exited the chicane and will start last.