Bagnaia sizzles to Italy MotoGP pole

Francesco Bagnaia

The Ducati Team’s Francesco Bagnaia has claimed pole position for the Italy MotoGP round despite towing Marc Marquez around the Mugello circuit after an on-track flare-up.

Bagnaia set a new All Time Lap Record of a 1:44.855s and will be joined on the front row by Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and, for the Sprint, Gresini Ducati’s Alex Marquez.

The latter, however, incurred a three-position grid penalty for the Grand Prix Race at Jerez and hence it will be his fellow Qualifying 1 graduate, Red Bull KTM’s Jack Miller, who will line up in third position on Sunday afternoon in Tuscany.

Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Ducati) was fastest after the opening flyers in Qualifying 2 on a 1:45.372s, ahead of Marc Marquez on a 1:45.406s.

Perhaps motivated by the threat of rain, they were among about half a dozen straight back into the pits to bring an end to their first runs, as Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Ducati) took over top spot on a 1:45.268s.

Bagnaia started his second run earlier than most but was visibly incensed when Marc Marquez exited the pits just ahead of him as he was trying to start another hot lap.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), who cannot use his rear brake this weekend due to pain from injuries sustained in an on-circuit cycling crash on Thursday, then jumped to third on a 1:45.380s.

Bezzecchi was back on top when he set a 1:45.290s as Bagnaia gave the older Marquez brother a reference, and a slipstream, around Mugello.

It looked like he might also give the Honda rider pole position but his 1:44.855s trumped Marquez’s 1:44.933s.

Miller had saved a soft Michelin rear tyres despite going through Q1 and therefore had two proper cracks at the second 15-minute his-out.

With the chequered flag flying, he moved up four positions to third on a 1:45.186s before Alex Marquez did likewise on a 1:45.007s.

Martin’s aforementioned time left him fifth, from Bezzecchi, Espargaro, Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Ducati), Alex Rins (LCR Honda), and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), the latter of whom crashed on his second run.

Luca Marini (VR46 Ducati) finished up 11th and Enea Bastianini (Ducati Team), who mounted his second bike after a first-run crash, 12th.

Earlier, in Qualifying 1, Alex Marquez was quickest virtually all the way through, consolidating first place with a 1:45.231s on his final lap, while Miller took second with a 1:45.559s just before the chequered flag.

Quartararo was only fifth when it was unfurled and he could not improve his position despite improving his time to a 1:45.755s on that lap.

He will therefore start 15th, alongside Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) in 13th and Franco Morbidelli on the other Yamaha in 14th.

Raul Fernandez (RNF Aprilia) achieved 20th on the grid with a crash at Biondetti 1 during the session, while Augusto Fernandez (GasGas Tech3) managed to qualify 21st having shaken himself off after a monster crash at the same location during the Free Practice 3 session just prior.

The Sprint race follows this Saturday (local time).

Qualifying: Italian MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev Session
1 1 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:44.855   Q2
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:44.933 0.078/0.078 Q2
3 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:45.007 0.152/0.074 Q2
4 43 Jack MILLER AUS Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:45.186 0.331/0.179 Q2
5 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Prima Pramac Racing Ducati 1:45.268 0.413/0.082 Q2
6 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:45.290 0.435/0.022 Q2
7 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:45.380 0.525/0.090 Q2
8 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Prima Pramac Racing Ducati 1:45.627 0.772/0.247 Q2
9 42 Alex RINS ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:45.702 0.847/0.075 Q2
10 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:45.731 0.876/0.029 Q2
11 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:46.119 1.264/0.388 Q2
12 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:46.884 2.029/0.765 Q2
13 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:45.591 0.360 Q1
14 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:45.754 0.523/0.163 Q1
15 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:45.755 0.524/0.001 Q1
16 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:45.860 0.629/0.105 Q1
17 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Racing Ducati 1:46.002 0.771/0.142 Q1
18 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia 1:46.003 0.772/0.001 Q1
19 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:46.170 0.939/0.167 Q1
20 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia 1:46.347 1.116/0.177 Q1
21 37 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 KTM 1:46.359 1.128/0.012 Q1
22 32 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:47.244 2.013/0.885 Q1
23 94 Jonas FOLGER GER GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 KTM 1:47.806 2.575/0.562 Q1

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