Pedrosa pounces to snatch Italian MotoGP pole

Dani Pedrosa

Dani Pedrosa

MotoGP Championship leader Dani Pedrosa stunned the Mugello crowd by setting a new lap record to snatch pole position away from Jorge Lorenzo.

Yamaha’s Lorenzo had ridden superbly throughout the Italian Grand Prix qualifying session setting two lap records. However, a last gasp effort from Pedrosa saw him climb from seventh to pip Lorenzo in a frantic final minute of the session.

Injured Andrea Dovizioso gave the home crowd something to cheer by guiding his Ducati to third and the final spot on the front row.

But multiple world champion and local hero Valentino Rossi could only manage to post a time good enough for seventh spot, a full seven tenths of a second behind Pedrosa.

Lorenzo set the pace from the outset with an impressive 1:47.621s lap with Monster Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow in second ahead of Stefan Bradl and Ducati’s Nicky Hayden.

The order soon changed when the riders completed their second run with Lorenzo going even quicker, while Marc Marquez, who was forced to come through qualifying 1 to secure a shootout place, shot to second.

The US Grand Prix winner has struggled in Italy this weekend, escaping serious injury from high speed crashes in free practice.

Rossi moved into third position sparking cheers from the home crowd.

Drama struck minutes later when Crutchlow dropped his Monster Yamaha but he managed to return to the pits and jump on his spare bike. He wasted little time when he rejoined the session, as he moved into third, knocking Rossi off the provisional front row.

In the end Crutchlow was demoted to fourth while Bradl moved into fifth leaving Marquez in sixth with Rossi shuffled back to seventh.

Australia’s Bryan Staring will start from 22nd place on the grid as he continues to improve on his CRT Honda. Elsewhere, Ben Spies has pulled out of the weekend due to injury.

Result: Qualifying 

1 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team  1:47.157
2 Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha Factory Racing 1:47.226
3 Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati Team 1:47.628
4 Cal Crutchlow  Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:47.632
5 Stefan Bradl CR Honda MotoGP 1:47.737
6 Marc Marquez  Repsol Honda Team 1:47.763
7 Valentino Rossi  Yamaha Factory Racing 1:47.872
8 Nicky Hayden  Ducati Team 1:48.006
9 Alvaro Bautista  Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1:48.355
10 Michele Pirro Ducati Test Team 1:48.564
11 Bradley Smith R Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:48.706
12 Aleix Espargaro SP Power Electronics Aspar 1:48.765
13 Andrea Iannone A Energy T.I. Pramac Racing 1:49.265
14 Randy De Puniet RA Power Electronics Aspar 1:49.266
15 Hector Barbera P Avintia Blusens 1:49.847
16 Danilo Petrucci A Came IodaRacing Project 1:50.518
17 Colin Edwards A NGM Forward Racing 1:50.701
18 Claudio Corti NGM Forward Racing 1:50.729
19 Michael Laverty BR Paul Bird Motorsport 1:50.787
20 Karel Abraham E Cardion AB Motoracing 1:51.089
21 Yonny Hernandez COL Paul Bird Motorsport 1:51.239
22 Bryan Staring  Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1:51.981
23 Hiroshi Aoyama PN Avintia Blusens 1:52.148
24 Lukas Pesek  Came IodaRacing Project 1:52.345




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