Miller takes pole in wet-dry Misano MotoGP qualifying

Jack Miller. Picture:

Jack Miller has taken the second pole position of his MotoGP career in a weather-affected qualifying session at the San Marino Grand Prix.

The Ducati Lenovo Team rider beat team-mate Francesco Bagnaia to top spot by just 0.015s although the latter will be starting fifth owing to a three-position grid penalty he incurred in Friday practice.

Six of the top seven qualifiers were on Ducatis, with championship leader Fabio Quartararo eighth on his Monster Energy Yamaha, one spot up on his nearest rival in the riders’ standings, Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro.

Light rain began to fall again at the end of Qualifying 1, at a fortuitous time for Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Ducati), and 10 of the 12 riders who made it through to Qualifying 2 started on wet Michelin tyres.

However, the shower was not heavy enough to sustain wets and all of those 10 were back in the pits to swap to their dry-weather bike if not immediately, then certainly after just one flying lap.

Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) had been an early pace-setter with a 1:37.332s on the Michelin slicks on which he started the session, but times would tumble throughout the 15-minute hit-out.

Miller punched out a 1:31.899s in the last minute before the chequered flag to go top for a fourth time, and he would not be bettered again.

Bagnaia came close to doing so, with a 1:31.914s on his final lap, while Enea Bastianini (Gresini Ducati) also made it onto the front row by finishing with a 1:32.014s.

In fact, only three of those dozen riders, Miller included, did not register an improvement on their last lap.

Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Ducati), who topped Q1, was fourth-fastest in the end on a 1:32.048s and hence will start from the front row.

Fifth went to Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) on a 1:32.118s, from Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Ducati) on a 1:32.169s.

Marini claimed seventh on a 1:32.226s, from Quartararo on a 1:32.246s and Espargaro on a 1:32.577s, while Row 4 will be made up of Oliveira, Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha), and Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar).

Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Ducati) was the biggest name to miss Q2 and is set to start from 13th, while first of the Honda contingent was Alex Marquez (Castrol LCR Honda) in 16th.

Remy Gardner and Tech3 KTM team-mate Raul Fernandez qualified bottom two in the 25-strong field.

Race start is scheduled for Sunday at 22:00 AEST.

Qualifying: San Marino MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev Session
1 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:31.899   Q2
2 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:31.914 0.015/0.015 Q2
3 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:32.014 0.115/0.100 Q2
4 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:32.048 0.149/0.034 Q2
5 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:32.118 0.219/0.070 Q2
6 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Prima Pramac Racing Ducati 1:32.169 0.270/0.051 Q2
7 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:32.226 0.327/0.057 Q2
8 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:32.246 0.347/0.020 Q2
9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:32.577 0.678/0.331 Q2
10 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:32.775 0.876/0.198 Q2
11 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:33.351 1.452/0.576 Q2
12 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:33.438 1.539/0.087 Q2
13 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Prima Pramac Racing Ducati 1:32.015 0.054 Q1
14 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:32.276 0.315/0.261 Q1
15 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:32.600 0.639/0.324 Q1
16 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:32.631 0.670/0.031 Q1
17 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Racing Ducati 1:32.658 0.697/0.027 Q1
18 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:32.663 0.702/0.005 Q1
19 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:32.826 0.865/0.163 Q1
20 6 Stefan BRADL GER Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:32.838 0.877/0.012 Q1
21 40 Darryn BINDER RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:33.331 1.370/0.493 Q1
22 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:33.484 1.523/0.153 Q1
23 92 Kazuki WATANABE JPN Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:36.289 4.328/2.805 Q1
24 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:44.690 12.729/8.401 Q1
25 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:46.732 14.771/2.042 Q1

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