Di Giannantonio on pole for Italian MotoGP, Miller misses Q2

Fabio Di Giannantonio. Picture: MotoGP.com

Rookie Italian Fabio Di Giannantonio has taken pole position for his home MotoGP event while Jack Miller failed to progress from Qualifying 1.

There is some small consolation for the Queenslander, however, with a grid penalty for fellow Ducati rider Jorge Martin elevating him to the fourth row of the grid at Mugello anyway.

Despite those negatives, Ducati in fact dominated qualifying for Round 8 of the season, sweeping the top five positions at a circuit which plays to the Bologna marque’s straight line strength.

Lap times continued to tumble through Qualifying 2 as the field opted for slick Michelin tyres in spitting rain, and matters were largely decided with the chequered flag out.

It was then that Prima Pramac’s Johann Zarco set a 1:46.383s, only to be beaten by Mooney VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi with a 1:46.244s and Gresini Racing’s Di Giannantonio on a 1:46.156s.

As such, the front row will be Di Giannantonio alongside fellow rookie Bezzecchi and the latter’s VR46 team-mate, Luca Marini, who went as quick as a 1:46.327s.

Zarco ended up fourth and, ironically, the last of that initial bunch of five Desmosedici riders was the factory Ducati Lenovo Team’s Francesco Bagnaia on a 1:46.471s.

The best of the rest was Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo with a 1:46.506s on a track which certainly does not suit the YZR-M1, from Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro, Idemitsu LCR Honda’s Takaak Nakagami, the Repsol Honda Team’s Pol Espargaro, and another Gresini Ducati rider in last-start winner Enea Bastianini.

Martin (Prima Pramac Ducati) was 11th-fastest in Q2 but will start from 14th after being pinged for irresponsible riding in Free Practice 3, elevating Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) to 11th on the grid, Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) to 12th, and Ducati test rider Michele Pirro (Aruba.it Racing) to 13th.

Marquez set his 1:47.468s after a nasty highside on his out lap right at the start of the session.

He walked away from the crash but the impact tore the front off his first RC213V and also caused it to catch fire, triggering a red flag to clean up the fluid spill.

Earlier in Q1, he had used Miller as a reference, following #43 around the Mugello circuit in the closing stages.

Given the track was drying out after an earlier, heavier period of rain which saw everyone start that session on wets, Miller was essentially in the wrong place given Marquez and Di Giannantonio were circulating just behind him and hence took the chequered flag later.

The other Australian in the field, Tech3 KTM’s Remy Gardner, qualified 19th.

The 23-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 22:00 AEST.

Qualifying: Italian MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev Session
1 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:46.156   Q2
2 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:46.244 0.088/0.088 Q2
3 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:46.327 0.171/0.083 Q2
4 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Prima Pramac Racing Ducati 1:46.383 0.227/0.056 Q2
5 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:46.471 0.315/0.088 Q2
6 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:46.506 0.350/0.035 Q2
7 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:46.507 0.351/0.001 Q2
8 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:46.561 0.405/0.054 Q2
9 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:46.667 0.511/0.106 Q2
10 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:46.679 0.523/0.012 Q2
11 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Prima Pramac Racing Ducati 1:47.223 1.067/0.544 Q2
12 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:47.468 1.312/0.245 Q2
13 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:47.621 0.402 Q1
14 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Aruba.it Racing Ducati 1:48.209 0.990/0.588 Q1
15 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:48.231 1.012/0.022 Q1
16 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:48.255 1.036/0.024 Q1
17 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:48.732 1.513/0.477 Q1
18 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:48.846 1.627/0.114 Q1
19 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:48.907 1.688/0.061 Q1
20 40 Darryn BINDER RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:49.471 2.252/0.564 Q1
21 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:50.266 3.047/0.795 Q1
22 32 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:50.270 3.051/0.004 Q1
23 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:55.369 8.150/5.099 Q1
24 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:56.479 9.260/1.110 Q1
25 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:57.106 9.887/0.627 Q1
26 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:57.671 10.452/0.565 Q1

Note: Martin three-position grid penalty

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