Jorge Lorenzo is on pole at the San Marini and Rimini Riviera GP, with a 1’33.238 lap time to grab his first pole since Motegi 2013. Andrea Iannone and Valentino Rossi also secured front row slots.
Just 0.051s behind Lorenzo, Iannone (Pramac Racing) matched his best ever MotoGP qualifying result, despite a fall on Friday which saw him take a heavy ankle knock.
Completing the front row at his home track, nine time World Champion Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) qualified in third – his best grid result since he was also third in Australia last season.
Jorge Lorenzo: “Finally after a long, long time, we make a pole position so I’m very proud. From the beginning we’ve been competitive, not like in Silverstone where we had some issues. It seems like the Yamaha is working very well as Valentino is also very fast. I pushed hard in the beginning but maybe didn’t know the perfect lines for the perfect lap. Then in the second tyre I made a very good lap time but just in the first section I lost one or two tenths because I made some mistakes and went wide. From section two I made an unbelievable lap so I’m very proud.”
Valentino Rossi: “This morning was not so bad but this afternoon we made a huge step with the setting of the bike and with a used tyre I could be very fast, which is the most important thing for tomorrow. I’m so satisfied because it’s the first, first row of the season. I always struggle in qualifying. In the last races I was able to improve my level to stay always on the second row but the front row is so important for tomorrow, it’s much easier to start at the front. I’m also happy because my lap time is close to the pole position, I feel good with the bike, I had a good practice and I have a good setting. It looks like the Yamaha is very competitive here so we have to fix some small things and be ready for tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, for the first time this season World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) qualified off the front row, lapping 0.122s down on Lorenzo’s pole time in fourth place.
On the other side of the Repsol Honda garage Dani Pedrosa slotted his RC213V into fifth spot on the grid, with a time just 0.058s slower than that of Marquez. A further 0.021s margin behind Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completed the second row.
Marc Marquez: “This is the first time this season that I’ve been off the front row, maybe because we haven’t yet found the best setup for this circuit. However, we still have the warm-up tomorrow in which to try things out and improve. Yesterday’s practice sessions were both wet, so that is why today we found it a little difficult to find the optimal set-up. In qualifying I concentrated on refining the bike more than grid position. Nevertheless, I am happy because I felt fairly comfortable on the bike, which is important for the race, but we will have to fight hard to finish on the podium.”
Dani Pedrosa: “I had a very good feeling today at Misano, although this isn’t reflected by my position on the grid for tomorrow. The times today have been very close between everyone, but tomorrow in the end we start from the second row. I’ll have to get a very good start and push on the opening laps. It will also be important to make the right choice with the front tyre, because that will be the key to the race. We will have to fight to the maximum, because this is a very long race.”
The third row will comprise brothers Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Englishman Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3).
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) heads row four in tenth following a crash in the session which he escaped unharmed. The German had made it through from Q1 along with Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing) who qualified 11th, just in front of Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini).
1. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 33.238s [Lap 6/8] 284km/h (Top Speed)
2. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 1m 33.289s +0.051s [6/8] 283km/h
3. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 33.302s +0.064s [7/8] 283km/h
4. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 33.360s +0.122s [9/9] 284km/h
5. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 33.418s +0.180s [7/8] 287km/h
6. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 1m 33.439s +0.201s [6/7] 287km/h
7. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 1m 33.557s +0.319s [6/8] 285km/h
8. Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 33.713s +0.475s [6/7] 280km/h
9. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 33.761s +0.523s [3/9] 286km/h
10. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 1m 33.995s +0.757s [3/6] 287km/h
11. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 1m 34.283s +1.045s [5/7] 282km/h
12. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 1m 34.640s +1.402s [3/9] 284km/h
13. Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 1m 34.495s
14. Scott Redding GBR Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R)* 1m 34.919s
15. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 1m 34.966s
16. Leon Camier GBR Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 1m 35.275s
17. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 1m 35.292s
18. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 1m 35.589s
19. Alex De Angelis RSM NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 35.679s
20. Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART)* 1m 36.317s
21. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Avintia) 1m 36.689s
22. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Avintia)* 1m 42.497s
23. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing Project (ART) No Time
Moto3 – Miller on pole for Sunday’s showdown
Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took his seventh pole of the season with a 1’42.974 lap time which put him just 0.004s ahead of his nearest rival Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo).
Behind Miller and Ajo on the front row is Silverstone race winner Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0), who was just 0.038s adrift of Miller.
Jorge Navarro (Marc VDS) and Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT-RTG) both crashed in the final ten minutes of Qualifying, but were able to rejoin. Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3) also crashed and were unable to improve their times.
Marquez nonetheless ended up fourth, with Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) and Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) also joining him on row two.
Antonelli was seventh, ahead of Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team) and Vazquez on the third row, whilst Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) completed the top ten.
16-year-old Remy Gardner, son of 1987 500cc world champion Wayne Gardner, is making his grand prix debut as a replacement for the injured Luca Grunwald Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM).
Things did not go to plan for the likes of Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3), who will start their home race 11th and 17th respectively.
Moto3 – Qualifying Results
1. Jack Miller KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 42.974s
2. Niklas Ajo FIN Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 42.978s
3. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 1m 43.012s
4. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 1m 43.163s
5. Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 43.298s
6. Danny Kent GBR Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 43.491s
7. Niccolò Antonelli ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 43.546s
8. Isaac Viñales SPA Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 43.547s
9. Efren Vazquez SPA SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 1m 43.553s
10. Brad Binder RSA Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 1m 43.676s
11. Romano Fenati ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 1m 43.698s
12. Juanfran Guevara SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 43.956s
13. Jorge Navarro SPA Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex-KTM) 1m 43.978s
14. Francesco Bagnaia ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 1m 43.986s
15. John McPhee GBR SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 1m 44.039s
16. Jakub Kornfeil CZE Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 44.154s
17. Enea Bastianini ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 44.201s
18. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL Ongetta-AirAsia (Honda) 1m 44.281s
19. Karel Hanika CZE Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 44.286s
20. Gabriel Rodrigo ARG RBA Racing Team (KTM) 1m 44.302s
21. Alessandro Tonucci ITA CIP (Mahindra) 1m 44.367s
22. Andrea Migno ITA Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 44.370s
23. Eric Granado BRA Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 44.381s|
24. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 1m 44.435s
25. Matteo Ferrari ITA San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 44.456s
26. Andrea Locatelli ITA San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 44.595s
27. Jules Danilo FRA Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 1m 44.908s
28. Scott Deroue NED RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 1m 45.122s
29. Philipp Oettl GER Interwetten Paddock Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 45.280s
30. Bryan Schouten NED CIP (Mahindra) 1m 45.398s
31. Lorenzo Petrarca ITA Team Ciatti (KTM) 1m 45.719s
32. Hafiq Azmi MAL SIC-AJO (KTM) 1m 46.065s
33. Remy Gardner AUS Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 1m 46.264s
34. Ana Carrasco SPA RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 1m 46.477s
35. Gabriel Ramos VEN Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 1m 47.183s