|Rossi and Vinales celebrate|
After showing a stunning pace in Free Practice 3, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi promoted to Q2 and flexed their muscles at the Autodromo del Mugello circuit in the fight for pole position. The teammates secured first and second place respectively on the grid for tomorrow's Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley.
Having amended the setting of his bike to his liking in FP4, Vinales knew what he had to do to get the job done today. He was quick to leave pit lane as qualifying got underway and he didn't hold back. He put in a 1'47.271s on his second flying lap to slot into second place before returning to the box with seven minutes on the clock, but he knew he had more in store for the second stint.
Back on the track, one and half minute later, it was the Spaniard's time to shine. He dominated the field with his third hot lap, a 1'46.575s, to take first place in the rankings. His lap remained unbeaten over the remainder of the session, earning Vinales his third pole of the season, with his teammate coming within 0.239s of his time.
The still recovering Rossi had an eventful start to the day, topping the FP3 and combined time sheets and walking away from a late crash in FP4, but he was his cool and collected self at the start of Q2. Riding with a special Mugello helmet that pays tribute to Nicky Hayden, Marco Simoncelli, and retiring Italian football captain Francesco Totti, the Doctor put his head down on his second flying lap. He dropped a 1'47.539s to take provisional fifth place, before returning to the pits for fresh tires with seven and half minutes to go.
He left the box almost three minutes later, giving the competition a head start to ensure clear space on track as he joined an intense battle for the front row. Finding himself in eleventh place, he pushed hard to shave a big chunk off his time with his 1'46.814s third attempt, securing second position on the grid, next to his teammate.
After earning a direct passage to Q2 in a very close morning FP3 session, Honda's Dani Pedrosa focused on refining the setup of his RC213V in FP4 before fighting hard in qualifying. His 1'46.999 time, less then 2 tenths off a front-row position, will see him starting his 265th GP tomorrow from the fifth place on the grid (putting him fifth on the list of riders with most GP starts, matching Angel Nieto).
His Repsol Honda Teammate Marc Marquez was able to find a good race pace over the day, setting the second-fastest time in FP3, the third-quickest in FP4, and then the sixth-best in qualifying, after getting stuck in traffic during his second flying lap.
Position 1st - Time: 1'46.575
Qualifying was really special and very nice. I gave my 100% and the bike was working really well and I did my best. Honestly, I'm so pleased with the work of the team, because we did a really good job in FP4. We modified the bike in a better way and we improved, so I'm quite happy about that.
Position 2nd - Time: 1'46.814
Today we did great work, carrying on from yesterday. My condition improved and we also improved the setting of the bike. This morning was the first practice that I ended in P1 this season, so I'm very happy because I did a great lap time. This afternoon I was also strong, but unfortunately I made a stupid mistake at the end of FP4 and I slid. Fortunately it was no problem, also because it was with the second bike, I didn't damage the right bike. However, I lost a bit of feeling, so to make this second place was good, even better than normal, because when you start with a mistake, maybe you need it sometimes. I think the race will be very tough from every angle, because it looks like there are six other bikes with the same pace, so to start from the front row is very important.
Dani Pedrosa 26
“I think all in all, we achieved a good qualifying result today, because at this track it's quite easy to be followed and lose some positions. But in the end, I think fifth is a good result. Lap times weren't extremely fast, maybe because it was very hot and it was difficult to do good lap times. Anyway, we worked a lot with the tires, gathering the information to make our choice tomorrow. There are several other riders with a good pace, but we must focus on our bike and tires, trying to do our best with them, to get a good start, to be strong in the first couple of laps, and then to keep up a good pace.”
Marc Marquez 93
“Honestly, I didn't have my best qualifying today. I made a few mistakes and then I calculated the slipstream wrong when I caught Zarco too early on my last flying lap. I had the second-best ideal time, but we didn't do it in one lap! In FP4 I was able to have quite a fast race pace on used tires, which is positive, but then in qualifying we didn't do our best, in part because we struggled with the front tire, which is a bit too soft. Anyway, we're not far off with the setup, so tomorrow we must make the right choice with the front and then I think we may fight for the podium."
|1||VINALES Maverick||25||SPA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1'46.575|
|2||ROSSI Valentino||46||ITA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1'46.814|
|3||DOVIZIOSO Andrea||4||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1'46.835|
|4||PIRRO Michele||51||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1'46.878|
|5||PEDROSA Dani||26||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1'46.999|
|6||MARQUEZ Marc||93||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1'47.050|
|7||LORENZO Jorge||99||SPA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1'47.152|
|8||BAUTISTA Alvaro||19||SPA||Pull&Bear Aspar Team||Ducati||1'47.167|
|9||PETRUCCI Danilo||9||ITA||Octo Pramac Racing||Ducati||1'47.266|
|10||RABAT Tito||53||SPA||Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1'47.282|
|11||ZARCO Johann||5||FRA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1'47.319|
|12||ESPARGARO Aleix||41||SPA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1'47.475|
|13||CRUTCHLOW Cal||35||GBR||LCR Honda||Honda||1'47.220 (Q1)|
|14||BARBERA Hector||8||SPA||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1'47.272 (Q1)|
|15||FOLGER Jonas||94||GER||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1'47.305 (Q1)|
|16||IANNONE Andrea||29||ITA||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki||1'47.625 (Q1)|
|17||BAZ Loris||76||FRA||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1'47.809 (Q1)|
|18||ESPARGARO Pol||44||SPA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1'47.940 (Q1)|
|19||MILLER Jack||43||AUS||Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1'47.961 (Q1)|
|20||REDDING Scott||45||GBR||Octo Pramac Racing||Ducati||1'47.975 (Q1)|
|21||ABRAHAM Karel||17||CZE||Pull&Bear Aspar Team||Ducati||1'48.361 (Q1)|
|22||LOWES Sam||22||GBR||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1'48.416 (Q1)|
|23||SMITH Bradley||38||GBR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1'48.594 (Q1)|
|24||GUINTOLI Sylvain||50||FRA||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki||1'48.892 (Q1)|