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
|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|