Honda’s Marc Marquez set a new lap record to take Italian GP MotoGP pole at Mugello from Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo and Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci.
The first part of Italian MotoGP qualifying at Mugello had Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro heading the way at the start from Suzuki’s Alex Rins as Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso slotted in third, Honda’s Jorge Lorenzo sixth and Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi seventh.
It was close for Dovizioso but the Italian made it through to Q2 after a the quickest lap of 1m46.278s as he pushed Rins out with Pirro (1m46.283s) making it through as well in second. For Rins and Rossi as well, it was disaster in the making.
The two missed their final lap as they got their out lap calculation wrong which meant they arrived to start their final lap with the chequered flag already having been raised. While Rins (1m46.539s) will start from 13th, Rossi (1m47.184s) is only 18th at his home event.
A solid lap from Avintia Ducati’s Tito Rabat (1m46.678s) behind Dovizioso helped him to be 14th with Aprilia’s Alexis Esparagro (1m46.889s) in 15th ahead of Avintia Ducati’s Karel Abraham (1m47.028s) and Honda’s Lorenzo (1m47.135s).
With Rossi in 18th, it was KTM’ Johann Zarco (1m47.394s) 19th after the Frenchman had a late crash and was unable to improve. Behind Zarco was Suzuki’s Joan Mir (1m47.519s) in 20th as Tech 3 KTM’s Hafizh Syahrin (1m48.222s) did well to be 21st.
The Malaysian, in fact, beat teammate Miguel Oliveira (1m48.235s) who ended up 22nd with Aprilia’s Andrea Iannone (1m48.303s) 23rd and last.
The second part of qualifying had Honda’s Marc Marquez set the pace early on but not for long as Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo thwarted his rival but two quick laps and take provisional MotoGP pole with a new outright lap record at 1m45.845s.
Marquez dropped to third as a result with Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales slotting in second. A bit of moment early in the session between Marquez and Dovizioso meant the latter could only manage 12th in his first attempt with Pirro in seventh.
It was close in the end in the fight for the pole but Marquez took it away with the help of a slipstream from Dovizioso to set a 1m45.519s to not only set a new lap record but also score pole in Italian GP at Mugello – his fourth MotoGP pole of 2019.
The Spaniard managed to beat Quartararo, who improved on his time to set a 1m47.733s but fell short to Marquez. Ducati had something to cheer in the end with Petrucci in third after a 1m45.881s to seal a front row start.
Petronas Yamaha SRT’s day got sweeter with Franco Morbidelli (1m45.959s) in fourth with Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller (1m46.029s) slotting in fifth ahead of LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (1m46.079s) and Vinales (1m46.181s) only seventh.
Pramac Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia (1m46.260s) lined-up in eighth with Dovizioso (1m46.293s) only ninth as LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami (1m46.387s), KTM’s Pol Espargaro (1m46.433s) and Pirro (1m46.638s) completed the Top 12 riders.