Bagnaia sizzles to Italy MotoGP pole
Saturday 10th June, 2023 - 10:02pm
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
|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||Aruba.it 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|