Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) heads the grid again for Sunday’s sixth race of the year, at the Gran Premio d’Italia in Mugello, with Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) also featuring on the front row.
A 1’47.270 lap gave Marquez his sixth consecutive pole this year and his seventh successive top grid spot including Valencia last year, as his perfect form continues.
Marc Marquez: “I’m very happy to have taken this pole position at a track that I found very difficult last year. I’ve felt good on the bike right from the opening practice session this time around, and this shows that we are working well this season – because in 2013 it was much harder to be up at the front. As for the race, it will be difficult to break away and do what I’ve been doing up to now, because at this track you tend to ride in a group and things are more tightly packed. However, I will try to give 100% in order to fight for the victory”
An excellent effort from Iannone (+0.18s) saw him show his pace again to get his first premier class front row start, the perfect response to his two recent DNF results and an ideal performance from an Italian rider on an Italian bike at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM.
Andrea Iannone: “I am very happy for my first time on the front row in MotoGP. It wasn’t easy. I want to thank Ducati, because on the straight the bike is incredible. But I pushed very hard with the first soft tyre and this is where I got my best time. I’m happy!” said Iannone.
Lorenzo got his third row one result of the year in third place, meanwhile, as he lapped a quarter of a second off Marquez.
Jorge Lorenzo: “I’m satisfied with third place because it’s important to start in the first row here to try to avoid some problems with the first laps and be with the front group. I feel like it’s a second place because Iannone has extra soft tyres that can maybe get some extra tenths. I’m happy with the lap time, but more I’m happy with the consistency and the work we’ve done with the bike. My physical condition is getting better as well so I’m happy. Circumstances are different to last year so it’s more difficult to be in front, but little by little we adapt to be as competitive as possible.”
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) still holds the pole record at Mugello with his 1’47.157s time from last year – and he qualified in fourth position with a late lap 0.314s from today’s pole.
Dani Pedrosa: “Today qualifying went better than in Le Mans, and we had good sessions – especially in FP4. I think that the bike was working fairly well, although when we put on the second tyre option in qualifying I made a small mistake – which I didn’t realise until afterwards – and I touched the engine mapping button which lowered my power and I wasn’t able to improve my time. Tomorrow we will try to start well and have a good race, it seems that the pace of the other riders is very evenly matched, but we will do all that we can”
A big crash on an out lap ended Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Pol Espargaro’s session early as he went down at turn nine and was clearly annoyed, but the Spaniard was unhurt and still ended up fifth on the grid.
A good qualifying result for Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) in sixth saw him outperform team-mate Andrea Dovizioso who was eighth.
Either side of Dovizioso on the third row are Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) in seventh and ninth places respectively, with all three qualifying within 0.5s of pole.
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) did not get the Q2 result he wanted as he qualified down in 10th for his 300th Grand Prix race.
Valentino Rossi: “We made a big mistake in the qualifying, we decided to change the front tyre at the same time as the second rear. It was the wrong decision, I felt really bad with the softer front and I was unable to improve my lap time. It’s a great shame, because I had a good potential and could have started on the front, my pace is good and I feel good with the bike, but it’s like this. Tomorrow from the fourth row everything will be harder and more difficult. We have good pace, we need to fix some small problems and try to make the maximum. I want to try and make a good race because it’s my 300th Grand Prix and also we are in Mugello! I’m quite desperate for the tenth position but nothing is lost yet. It will be hard but we can do a good race.”
Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) and Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) made it through from Q1 but were ultimately 11th and 12th.
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 47.270s 337km/h (Top Speed)
2. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 1m 47.450s +0.180s 342km/h
3. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 47.521s +0.251s 333km/h
4. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 47.584s +0.314s 340km/h
5. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 1m 47.612s +0.342s 337km/h
6. Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 1m 47.659s +0.389s 340km/h
7. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 47.681s +0.411s 337km/h
8. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 1m 47.754s +0.484s 339km/h
9. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 1m 47.765s +0.495s 343km/h
10. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 47.791s +0.521s 336km/h
11. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 1m 48.132s +0.862s 340km/h
12. Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 48.218s +0.948s 337km/h
13. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 1m 48.722s
14. Scott Redding GBR Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R)* 1m 48.754s
15. Michele Pirro ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 1m 48.794s
16. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 1m 48.894s
17. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 1m 49.505s
18. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 49.780s
19. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Avintia) 1m 49.932s
20. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 1m 50.505s
21. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Avintia)* 1m 50.515s
22. Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART)* 1m 50.875s
23. Michel Fabrizio ITA IodaRacing Project (ART) 1m 53.116s
Jules Danilo (Ambrogio Racing) had a big high side at Turn 8 but was not harmed in the crash.
Moto3 – Jack Miller second on the grid at Mugello
Moto3 qualifying at Mugello ended with Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) outperforming the rest of the field at the picturesque Mugello track, with Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team) joining him on the front row.
Rins lost the front at turn 2 and crashed just after setting a new Moto3 Mugello pole record time of 1’56.999, later rejoining the session having rushed back to his box after the incident.
Championship leader Miller as just over 0.25s behind the Spaniard in second place, whilst a late improvement from Kornfeil left him 0.327s adrift of Rins in third – for his first ever front row GP start.
Row two, meanwhile, comprises home rider Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46), the experienced Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) and the ever-improving Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0).
Rookie Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) got his best grid slot to date in seventh, ahead of Juanfran Guevara (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) and Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) on the third row. Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) completed the top ten.
Qualifying Results – Moto3
1. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 1m 56.999s
2. Jack Miller AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 57.264s
3. Jakub Kornfeil CZE Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 57.326s
4. Romano Fenati ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 1m 57.435s
5. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 1m 57.580s
6. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 1m 57.881s
7. Karel Hanika CZE Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 57.937s
8. Juanfran Guevara SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 57.967s
9. Brad Binder RSA Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 1m 57.972s
10. Efren Vazquez SPA SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 1m 58.021s
11. John McPhee GBR SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 1m 58.054s
12. Isaac Viñales SPA Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 58.058s
13. Niccolò Antonelli ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 58.127s
14. Alessandro Tonucci ITA CIP (Mahindra) 1m 58.225s
15. Niklas Ajo FIN Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 58.265s
16. Enea Bastianini ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 58.276s
17. Francesco Bagnaia ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 1m 58.347s
18. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL Ongetta-AirAsia (Honda) 1m 58.677s
19. Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 58.696s
20. Hafiq Azmi MAL SIC-AJO (KTM) 1m 58.709s
21. Luca Grünwald GER Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 1m 58.731s
22. Matteo Ferrari ITA San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 58.940s
23. Andrea Locatelli ITA San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 59.011s
24. Arthur Sissis AUS Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 59.078s
25. Philipp Oettl GER Interwetten Paddock Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 59.217s
26. Danny Kent GBR Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 59.286s
27. Scott Deroue NED RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 1m 59.394s
28. Livio Loi BEL Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex-KTM) 1m 59.413s
29. Eric Granado BRA Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 59.530s
30. Anthony Groppi ITA Pos Corse (FTR Honda) 1m 59.821s
31. Bryan Schouten NED CIP (Mahindra) 1m 59.875s
32. Simone Mazzola ITA MT Racing Honda (FTR Honda) 1m 59.896s
33. Ana Carrasco SPA RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 2m 0.078s
34. Jules Danilo FRA Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 2m 0.560s
35. Gabriel Ramos VEN Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 2m