Viñales on pole again in Italy

Dan Herrero

Sunday 4th June, 2017 - 12:01am

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Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales has taken his second consecutive MotoGP pole position while Valentino Rossi will start the Italian Grand Prix from the middle of the front row.

The Movistar Yamaha pair topped the field, ahead of two of the factory Ducati riders in Andrea Dovizioso and wildcard Michele Pirro.

Viñales couldn’t quite match the pace set by his team-mate Rossi during practice, but was always thereabouts during qualifying and finished 0.2s clear of the field.

Rossi shook off a motocross training crash which had put him in doubt for his home grand prix, then another during Free Practice 4 just prior to qualifying, to be second-fastest.

“My physical condition improved (overnight) and also we improved the setting of the bike,” said the 38-year-old.

“Unfortunately, I made a stupid mistake in FP4; I arrived wide on the dirt (off-line) and I slid and I lost a bit of feeling.

“So also for this reason (as well as recovering from the motocross crash), this second place is very important.”

Dovizioso made it two Italians on the front row as the Ducatis realised their top speed advantage on Mugello’s long main straight, with his countryman and team-mate Pirro impressing in fourth.

The pair of Repsol Hondas followed, Dani Pedrosa fifth and a late effort for Marc Marquez lifting him from 10th to sixth.

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), Alvaro Bautista (Aspar Ducati), and Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati), make up row three, the latter of whom would have qualified in second position but for exceeding track limits on the lap in question.

Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Honda), Johann Zarco (Tech 3 Yamaha), and Aleix Espargaro (Gresini Aprilia), will start off row four.

Zarco again came through Q1, this time with a late qualifying run in order to save tyres, but was unable to match his French Grand Prix heroics when he made the front row.

The Frenchman and Petrucci had denied Cal Crutchlow passage from Q1, and the LCR Honda rider will start 13th.

Jonas Folger crashed his Tech 3 Yamaha during Q2 and will start 15th, while Jack Miller had an unremarkable run to 19th on the grid on his Marc VDS Honda.

The Italian Grand Prix will be run over 23 laps on Sunday from 2200 AEST.

Qualifying: Italian Grand Prix

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap
1 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1’46.575
2 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1’46.814 0.239 / 0.239
3 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1’46.835 0.260 / 0.021
4 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1’46.878 0.303 / 0.043
5 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’46.999 0.424 / 0.121
6 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’47.050 0.475 / 0.051
7 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Ducati Team Ducati 1’47.152 0.577 / 0.102
8 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 1’47.167 0.592 / 0.015
9 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati 1’47.266 0.691 / 0.099
10 53 Tito RABAT SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1’47.282 0.707 / 0.016
11 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1’47.319 0.744 / 0.037
12 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1’47.475 0.900 / 0.156
13 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda 1’47.220 Q1 / Q1
14 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1’47.272 Q1 / 0.052
15 94 Jonas FOLGER GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1’47.305 Q1 / 0.033
16 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1’47.625 Q1 / 0.320
17 76 Loris BAZ FRA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1’47.809 Q1 / 0.184
18 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1’47.940 Q1 / 0.131
19 43 Jack MILLER AUS EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1’47.961 Q1 / 0.021
20 45 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati 1’47.975 Q1 / 0.014
21 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 1’48.361 Q1 / 0.386
22 22 Sam LOWES GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1’48.416 Q1 / 0.055
23 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1’48.594 Q1 / 0.178
24 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1’48.892 Q1 / 0.298