Quartararo storms to Mugello pole, Miller fifth

Fabio Quartararo. Picture: MotoGP.com

Fabio Quartararo has stormed to pole position for the Italian Grand Prix while Jack Miller ended up fifth in qualifying.

Quartararo, the championship leader, broke Mugello’s all time lap record with a 1:45.187s to claim his fourth pole in a row on his Monster Energy Yamaha.

Ducati duo Francesco Bagnaia and Johann Zarco ended up second and third respectively, ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Gresini Aprilia), Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team), and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM).

Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha) will start all the way back in 13th after costly errors in both Free Practice 3 and then Qualifying 1.

Miller was fastest through the first flyers in Qualifying 2 with a 1:45.796s before Q1 graduate Aleix Espargaro got a tow from Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) to move into top spot with a 1:45.651s.

Miller improved to a 1:45.789s to consolidate second position, but Quartararo subsequently laid down a 1:45.481s.

That put the Frenchman in first position at the end of the first runs, from Aleix Espargaro, Miller, Bagnaia, and Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar), as Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) remained in the garage after topping Q1.

Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) jumped onto the provisional front row with a 1:45.745s at the start of his second run, while Quartararo tightened his grip on pole in the final two minutes with the 1:45.187s.

Binder moved up to third with a 1:45.743s just prior to the chequered flag, after which Miller was still a threat to pinch pole from #20.

However, the Queenslander lost around half a second in the third sector and as Bagnaia moved to second spot with a 1:45.417s, Miller could only go fourth with a 1:45.598s.

Even then, Zarco was following #43 and almost instantly usurped him with a 1:45.432s to put the #5 Pramac Racing entry onto the outside of the front row.

Behind Binder in sixth, Oliveira wound up seventh, ahead of Rins, Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar), and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT).

Marc Marquez took 11th, one position up on Repsol Honda team-mate Pol Espargaro in a session which ran in dry conditions despite the threatening skies.

Viñales’ woes can be traced back to the latter minutes of FP3, when he crashed at Correntaio and missed the cut for Q2 as a consequence.

He then ended up in a cat-and-mouse game with Marc Marquez all the way through Q1, and was relegated to third by Aleix Espargaro after the chequered flag had come out.

The Yamaha rider was, however, still on a hot lap and looked to be able to bump #41 back out of the top two when he went fastest to the third sector.

However, Viñales ran wide at the final corner and will thus start from 13th, next to Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama Ducati) and Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu LCR Honda).

Michele Pirro, riding in place of the injured Jorge Martin at Pramac Racing, put his Ducati 16th on the grid, from Luca Marini (Sky VR46 Avintia Ducati) and Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM).

Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) could only improve his starting berth to 19th, late in the piece, with the rest of the grid being Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM), Lorenzo Savadori (Gresini Aprilia), and Alex Marquez (Castrol LCR Honda).

MotoGP qualifying had started late due to a nasty crash in the Moto3 qualifying session which preceded FP4 for the premier class.

Jason Dupasquier was airlifted from the scene of the incident to a hospital in Florence for further examination after a multi-bike crash at Arrabbiata 2 at the end of Q2.

The Swiss rider had lost control on exit and his errant bike was hit by Ayumi Sasaki, who was thrown over the front of his own machine as a consequence.

While Sasaki hit the track surface with a thud, he and Jeremy Alcoba, whose involvement in the incident was not clear on replays, were advised by the medical director as being OK.

Dupasquier, however, remained on the track where he had fallen until he was taken away in a helicopter.

MotoGP race start is scheduled for Sunday at 22:00 AEST, with 23 laps on the cards.

Qualifying: Italian MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/Prev
1 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:45.187  
2 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:45.417 0.230 / 0.230
3 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:45.432 0.245 / 0.015
4 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:45.538 0.351 / 0.106
5 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:45.598 0.411 / 0.060
6 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:45.743 0.556 / 0.145
7 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:45.745 0.558 / 0.002
8 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:45.996 0.809 / 0.251
9 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:46.076 0.889 / 0.080
10 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:46.084 0.897 / 0.008
11 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:46.125 0.938 / 0.041
12 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:46.393 1.206 / 0.268
13 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:46.045 Q1 / Q1
14 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Avintia Esponsorama Ducati 1:46.129 Q1 / 0.084
15 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:46.195 Q1 / 0.066
16 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:46.302 Q1 / 0.107
17 10 Luca MARINI ITA SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati 1:46.481 Q1 / 0.179
18 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:46.548 Q1 / 0.067
19 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:46.770 Q1 / 0.222
20 27 Iker LECUONA ESP Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:47.084 Q1 / 0.314
21 32 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:47.146 Q1 / 0.062
22 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:47.216 Q1 / 0.070

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