Bagnaia edges Miller to pole as Quartararo crashes

Francesco Bagnaia. Picture: MotoGP.com

Francesco Bagnaia has qualified on pole for the San Marino MotoGP round while Jack Miller made it a second straight Ducati Lenovo Team one-two on the grid.

Fabio Quartararo crashed his Monster Energy Yamaha at Turn 1 of the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on his final lap but would not be unseated from the other front row berth.

The championship leader was hardly alone in hitting the deck, with Marc Marquez dropping his Repsol Honda in Qualifying 2 and Enea Bastianini falling on his in lap at the end of the Qualifying 1 session in which he set the pace.

Quartararo had been fastest after the opening flyers in Q2, clocking a 1:32.097s which had him more than seven tenths of his nearest rival at that point, namely Bagnaia.

Aleix Espargaro (Gresini Aprilia), Marc Marquez, Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati), and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo) then all had brief spells on the top thanks to their second flyers, before Quartararo came through and set a 1:31.367s.

That left him on top after the first runs, from Bagnaia on a 1:31.664s, Martin on a 1:31.807s, then Marc Marquez, Aleix Espargaro, and Miller.

Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama Ducati) had been sixth-fastest momentarily but was relegated to 12th when he had his fastest lap cancelled.

Marc Marquez had used Honda stablemate Stefan Bradl as a reference to help get himself out of Q1, after a late crash in Free Practice 3 consigned him to the first, 15-minute session qualifying session.

In Q2, he was trying to go with Bagnaia as he went for his second run but succeeded only in losing the front through Turn 9, and that was that for #93.

Aleix Espargaro then crashed on his out lap, before Bagnaia improved to a 1:31.485s and Martin to a 1:31.663s, which left them an unchanged second and third respectively.

Bagnaia, however, had more to come, following that effort up with a 1:31.065s that would not only yield a second straight pole, but also break the all time lap record at Misano.

Miller then came through to set a 1:31.314s and relegate Quartararo to third, which is where the Frenchman would stay after he folded the front of #20 at Turn 1 in the final minute of the session.

Martin ended up fourth, while Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) and Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) were late movers to fifth and sixth respectively.

Ironically, the latter’s time bumped team-mate Marc Marquez onto Row 3, which he will share with Aleix Espargaro and Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar).

Maverick Viñales qualified 10th in just his second round for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir ended up 11th after an apparent technical problem with his GSX-RR, and Bastianini took 12th.

Takaaki Nakagami was fastest of those who failed to get out of Q1, the Japanese rider dropping his Idemitsu LCR Honda in the final three minutes of that session when poised to go fastest.

He will be joined on Row 5 by Ducati Lenovo Team wildcard Michele Pirro and Sky VR46 Esponsorama Ducati rider Luca Marini.

Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha) is set to start 16th on his return from injury, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) from 17th after a crash during his second run, and HRC wildcard Bradl from 18th on his Honda.

Nakagami’s yellow flag cost team-mate Alex Marquez (Castrol LCR Honda) a chance to improve at that point and #73 would end up 19th on the grid, ahead of Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM) and Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM).

The eighth and final row of the grid will be Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM) and team-mates Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso, the former of that Petronas Yamaha SRT duo having crashed on a slow lap during his first run.

Both sessions were run in somewhat overcast conditions, after rain affected the opening day of the event.

The 27-lap race is set to start on Sunday at 22:00 AEST.

Qualifying: San Marino MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/Prev
1 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:31.065
2 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:31.314 0.249 / 0.249
3 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:31.367 0.302 / 0.053
4 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Pramac Racing Ducati 1:31.663 0.598 / 0.296
5 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:31.836 0.771 / 0.173
6 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:31.923 0.858 / 0.087
7 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:31.935 0.870 / 0.012
8 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:31.937 0.872 / 0.002
9 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:32.017 0.952 / 0.080
10 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:32.121 1.056 / 0.104
11 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:32.426 1.361 / 0.305
12 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Avintia Esponsorama Ducati 1:32.461 1.396 / 0.035
13 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:32.210 Q1 / Q1
14 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:32.287 Q1 / 0.077
15 10 Luca MARINI ITA SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati 1:32.289 Q1 / 0.002
16 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:32.296 Q1 / 0.007
17 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:32.427 Q1 / 0.131
18 6 Stefan BRADL GER Team Honda HRC Honda 1:32.439 Q1 / 0.012
19 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:32.476 Q1 / 0.037
20 27 Iker LECUONA ESP Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:32.481 Q1 / 0.005
21 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:32.821 Q1 / 0.340
22 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:32.891 Q1 / 0.070
23 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:32.967 Q1 / 0.076
24 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:33.098 Q1 / 0.131

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