Mugello MotoGP: Quartararo smashes lap record to take pole

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo smashed the Mugello lap record to claim MotoGP Italian Grand Prix pole as teammate Maverick Vinales was 13th after a dramatic qualifying.

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Qualifying was delayed following a serious incident in the preceding Moto3 Q2 session, with Swiss rider Jason Dupasquier airlifted to hospital in Florence for further assessment.

Jack Miller emerged from the early salvo of laps fastest with a 1m45.796s on his factory Ducati, though Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro edged ahead moments later with a 1m45.651s having utilised a tow from the Ducati of Francesco Bagnaia.

This time didn’t stand for long, however, as Quartararo – who topped FP4 ahead of qualifying – guided his Yamaha to a 1m45.481s to end the opening runs top.

Chasing his fourth-straight pole of 2021, Quartararo blasted the field on his penultimate flying lap with a lap record of 1m45.187s.

That time went unchallenged through to the chequered flag, his nearest rival Bagnaia 0.230 seconds behind.

Johann Zarco made a late charge to secure the final spot on the front row on his Pramac Ducati, which denied Aleix Espargaro – who came through Q1 - a first MotoGP front row on the Aprilia in fourth.

Miller looked set to get onto the front row on his final lap, but ultimately could only manage fifth with his 1m45.5982 ahead of KTM’s Brad Binder – comfortably his best qualifying of the year.

KTM teammate Miguel Oliveira was seventh ahead of the Suzuki duo of Alex Rins and Joan Mir, while Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli headed Q1 pacesetter Marc Marquez and his Honda teammate Pol Espargaro.

Vinales was the biggest scalp to fall into Q1 after a late crash in FP3 and his strong pace throughout practice made him a target for the physically struggling Marc Marquez on the Honda to use him as a reference.

Marquez followed Vinales on both of his runs in Q1, much to the Yamaha rider’s dismay, with the Honda rider able to get into Q2 with a 1m45.924s.

Vinales was dropped from second to third by Aleix Espargaro late on in Q1 but was on course to secure passage into the pole shootout session – only for the Yamaha rider to make a mistake at the final corner and resigning him to 13th on the grid.

Missing a place in Q2 by just 0.021s, Vinales will be joined on the fifth row by Avintia rookie Enea Bastianini and LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami.

Pramac stand-in Michele Pirro will start from 16th ahead of Avintia’s Luca Marini and the Tech 3 KTM of 2019 Mugello race winner Danilo Petrucci.

Valentino Rossi’s miserable homecoming continued in qualifying, the Petronas SRT rider only 19th ahead of Tech 3’s Iker Lecuona, Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori and the LCR Honda of Alex Marquez. 

Qualifying results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 20 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 1'45.187
2 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 1'45.417 0.230
3 5 France Johann Zarco
Ducati 1'45.432 0.245
4 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 1'45.538 0.351
5 43 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati 1'45.598 0.411
6 33 South Africa Brad Binder
KTM 1'45.743 0.556
7 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
KTM 1'45.745 0.558
8 42 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 1'45.996 0.809
9 36 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 1'46.076 0.889
10 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 1'46.084 0.897
11 93 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 1'46.125 0.938
12 44 Spain Pol Espargaro
Honda 1'46.393 1.206
13 12 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 1'46.045 0.858
14 23 Italy Enea Bastianini
Ducati 1'46.129 0.942
15 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
Honda 1'46.195 1.008
16 51 Italy Michele Pirro
Ducati 1'46.302 1.115
17 10 Italy Luca Marini
Ducati 1'46.481 1.294
18 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci
KTM 1'46.548 1.361
19 46 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 1'46.770 1.583
20 27 Spain Iker Lecuona
KTM 1'47.084 1.897
21 32 Italy Lorenzo Savadori
Aprilia 1'47.146 1.959
22 73 Spain Alex Marquez
Honda 1'47.216 2.029
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