Behind enemy lines: Maverick Vinales steals pole at Mugello
Championship leader Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) has taken pole for the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, heading teammate Valentino Rossi on the ‘Doctor’’s home turf at Mugello. Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso gives the home crowd even more to cheer about, taking third and a front row start.
Ducati test rider Michele Pirro shone once again to head the second row at a venue he knows well, ahead of Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and reigning Champion teammate Marc Marquez.
Heading up Row 3 is one of Mugello’s most successful riders, Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo, ahead of compatriot Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) as top Independent Team rider.
Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) had seemed set for a front row start before having his fastest laptime cancelled for exceeding track limits, and the Italian dropped from a provisional P2 to take ninth on the grid at home – in front of a best ever for EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat to complete the top ten.
Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) had a more difficult session to take eleventh, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) crashing out early and ending the session in P12.
One huge name to miss the cut in Q1 was two-time GP winner Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), who will line up in P13 for the Italian GP, as Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) also missed the cut to qualify fourteenth. Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie Jonas Folger was another who didn’t move through, the German suffering a rare crash in the final two minutes of Q1 and lining up in P15.
Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) qualified sixteenth as he struggles with illness at his home GP, ahead of Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing). Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) impressed in eighteenth, ahead of a tough session for Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing).
The MotoGP™ battle commences at 14:00 (GMT +2) on Sunday, at one of the most beautiful racetracks in the world – the Autodromo del Mugello.
MotoGP Qualifying Results
1 – Maverick Viñales (SPA – Yamaha) 1’46.575
2 – Valentino Rossi (ITA – Yamaha) +0.239
3 – Andrea Dovizioso (ITA – Ducati) +0.260
1st Independent Team Rider:
Pos 8 – Álvaro Bautista (SPA – Ducati) + 0.592