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Schumacher plays down pole record

Michael SchumacherMichael Schumacher played down the importance of setting a new record for most pole positions after emerging on top in qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix.

The 66th pole of the German's extraordinary career allowed the Ferrari driver to overtake the late Brazilian champion Ayrton Senna in the Formula One record books.

"Well, the record is less important in a way," admitted Schumacher. "You look at it once you finish your racing and you may think about it, it was a little bit of a mixed feeling.

"But being here, as an ambassador in San Marino, in front of the tifosi, after all the pain of the last few weeks, is great."

It was Schumacher's second pole of the season and a confirmation that Ferrari are likely to fight for victory on Sunday following the introduction of several updates in their car for Imola. 

Now Schumacher, who will have Briton Jenson Button beside him at the start tomorrow, is confident of scoring his first win since last year's United States Grand Prix.

"With this car we had gotten pole in Bahrain. so it was obvious at one stage we would be in a position to do so (win)," said Schumacher. "We worked very hard to make up ground, and here we are.

"We made up significant ground. The race is important but seeing where Fernando is is great in terms of strategy."

World champion Fernando Alonso failed to match Schumacher's pace and will start from fifth position, one place behind Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari.

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