Top 12 MotoGP qualifiers covered by less than a second at Mugello
Maverick Vinales takes pole ahead of Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati men cracking 350km/h
MotoGP 2017 – Round Six – Mugello – Italian GP
Championship leader Maverick Viñales (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.
Maverick Vinales – P1
“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.”
Valentino Rossi – P2
“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.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Team Director
“Today was not without its challenges, but in the end we couldn‘t have asked for a better result. Maverick already showed great speed yesterday and today he got his chance to set the pole position lap exactly right, with a very strong 1’46.575s. Valentino also gave a seriously impressive performance, starting with the free practice session this morning and he again delivered in the afternoon. Despite his injury he has been showing superb form, finishing just 0.239s off pole. We still have some doubts concerning the set-up that we have to look into, so tomorrow‘s warm up is going to be decisive.”
Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso gives the home crowd even more to cheer about, taking third and a front row start.
Andrea Dovizioso – P3
“I am very happy to start from the front row here at Mugello! Qualifying wasn’t easy at all because it was very hot and the track grip was lower. Mine wasn’t a perfect lap but it was good enough to earn me a front row slot and confirmed the good job we’ve done this weekend. I’m also satisfied with my race pace because in FP4 we started with very used tyres and we had the same speed as the other riders. I’m confident for tomorrow, when we’ll see if the excellent job we’ve done these last couple of days will be enough to fight for the podium.”
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.
Michele Pirro – P4
“First of all I’d like to thank the guys in the Ducati Test Team who I work with all year, and who deserve some of the merit for this good performance. Unfortunately I missed out on the front row because of a small mistake I made in the final sector, where I can improve a bit more and where we’ll work on tomorrow in the warm-up. Fourth place on the grid is any case a good result, but tomorrow I’ll have to get a good start, stay with the leading group and try and set consistent lap times to do a good race.”
Dani Pedrosa – P5
“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 tyres, 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 tyres, 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 – P6
“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 tyres, which is positive, but then in qualifying we didn’t do our best, in part because we struggled with the front tyre, 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.”
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.
Jorge Lorenzo – P7
“I’m quite pleased despite my grid position not being what I had hoped for. We are actually much better with race pace than when it comes to setting a time, but in any case this is my best qualifying performance this year after Austin. The most important thing is that we have found a setting that I think can work well tomorrow in the race and also in the future. As for the race itself, we are all very close and it’s complicated to make any predictions, but I think that if I can get off to a good start I can fight with the leading group.”
Alvaro Bautista – P8
“We have to be happy, because we did a good job all weekend. In the fourth free practice session I rode with very well worn tyres at a very consistent and very fast pace. The tyres had more than race distance in them. In qualifying I hoped to go round in under 1:47, or at least as fast as in the morning, in which I had got down to 1:46, but the heat didn’t help. In the end I will be starting from eighth, which is much better than in the last few races. This will be important for the opening laps tomorrow, but we will have to take fewer risks. Finishing the day as the top privateer team is also positive, and it will give a boost in morale for both the team and for me.”
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.
Danilo Petrucci – P9
“It is a pity. I did a great time, plus lapping alone. But coming out of the curb I passed through on an area that by regulation is forbidden. I did not earn anyadvantage in term of crono, to be honest. I still have to say that the feeling is really good and the ninth position is not bad. I’m doing well and I’m sure I can do a great race tomorrow”.
Tito Rabat – P10
“I am very happy with today, we had a strong performance in both practice sessions and then qualifying. I learnt a lot today and now I just want to focus on carrying this forward to the race and get a good result. We made a lot of changes from Friday practice and now I am much more comfortable. The plan for the race is to go full gas from the fourth row and don’t think too much!”
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.
Johann Zarco – P11
“It was the best decision to wait in Q1 and then push in the last moments. However, when you give all of your energy to set a good time, it’s difficult to give the same amount in the second session without risking everything. I made it through to Q2, yet there, the other riders had a lot of grip with the new tyres and they could take advantage of this for a single lap, but I have not quite able to do that so far this weekend. I did my best but I didn’t want to crash so eventually I finished 11th. It was a bit of a tough Saturday overall, and in the morning all the riders got a better feeling, yet, I began to struggle a little bit, which meant that I lost out on Q2. Anyway, I am very happy about my performance in FP4 because riding with the soft tyres was ok, but when we ran with the harder compound there was an improvement. There are some positive points when the tyres become worn so this can be my advantage tomorrow. When I start from 11th, I need to keep calm, but from the midpoint of the race I can make a difference and I am confident.”
Aleix Espargaro – P12
“I am obviously disappointed with the way qualifying went because the RS-GP is working well this weekend. This race is important for the team and I am giving 100% in every session. Unfortunately, I crashed unexpectedly as I was following Maverick, so I wasn’t able to take advantage of my good lap. It’s a pity because I had the right feeling to be able to battle for the first or second row, a position that would have been a fantastic gift for all the guys at Aprilia. In any case, with used tyres, our pace is really good. In the race we will definitely be able to have our say.”
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.
Cal Crutchlow – P13
“I managed to drop 12 places in one day, it was a bad day, but that happens. Yesterday was good and today not so much. I never got the best out of the bike after what happened in the morning. It was completely my own fault this morning, I went out with a used tyre and it seemed warm enough because I had pushed in all the left-hand corners already on the lap. I thought it was enough to heat the tyre, but although went through it slower than yesterday, I crashed. That hindered us all day, because the second bike was completely different to the first and it wasn’t great. That meant I missed out on Q2, and never got through Q1. I made a mistake, had a big shake in the last sector and lost four-tenths to Zarco there. Nobody is to blame, and we start 13th, but my pace is much better than that for the race. We will be battling for top positions tomorrow and I think top five is possible.”
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.
Jonas Folger – P15
“Although I will start the GP from further back than where I would like, I’m certain that we can still do a good job tomorrow. FP4 went positively and we found the confidence that we needed for the qualifying and then, at the beginning of Q1, I felt comfortable and I completed two solid laps. Just after this, I returned to the pit box to change the tyres and I decided to keep the same front. In the end, I pushed really hard but at the 11th corner, at the exit of the chicane, I lost the front. We have to analyse why this happened, yet I didn’t hurt myself and my final lap time was ok. I’m sure that I could have improved but when you get close to the limit, sometimes these things happen. We still have to decide on which tyre we will use for tomorrow’s race, but nevertheless, I am looking forward to the fight.”
Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) qualified sixteenth as he struggles with illness at his home GP, ahead of Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing).
Andrea Iannone – P16
“My feeling with the bike has improved, although the result of the qualifying is not satisfying. It’s difficult for me to find the needed efficacy to improve the time attack. I needed to be very fast in qualifying, and lacking this means we start in 16th place. It will be difficult to recover from this, but I hope to get in a great start, and to recover in the early laps; my pace is not bad. Today I feel better and I´m in less pain, but I feel very weak.”
Improvements to the KTM RC16 have worked well for Pol Espargaro to ultimately qualify just 1.1 seconds off the front row in 18th. With a new chassis freshly delivered to both riders from Austria for this weekend, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders worked hard to further improve the working window for the KTM RC16. It was a hot day in the Tuscan countryside with the track temperature hitting 54 degrees celcius – as warm as it is in Malaysia – meaning lap times were actually a little slower than last year for the pole position battlers. However, with KTM progress was found technically with the bike that is racing at its sixth GP tomorrow. Indeed, the MotoGP class has produced some exceptionally close times this weekend with the top twelve on the grid split by just 0.9 seconds over a 106 second lap.
Pol Espargaro – P18
“Honestly I think it’s the track where we have made the biggest improvement this season because normally when we go to a track such as this we take too much time than normal to set up the bike because these are difficult tracks, plus, we’ve not been here with this new engine and this new bike so everything is not easy for us when we start at a ‘new track’. We started Friday with a few problems on the bike but we’ve worked and improved most of them so by the end we finished less than one second from the front row, so, this means we are not bad at a long track like this. We have some work to do tonight but I think we have done a good job today.”
It was a tough session for Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing).
Jack Miller – P19
“It has been a difficult start to the weekend. I’ve been pushing really hard with this new front tyre and I think we found a good feeling in FP4 and then in the Q1 session made some further progress. I think missing the test in Barcelona last week cost us set-up time. In practice on Friday and this morning I could not push the front enough, I was sliding in the corners. We’ve made a lot of geometry changes and my crew chief Ramon has some more ideas for the race. Finally it was nice to crack into the 1’47s.”
MotoGP 2017 – Round Six – Mugello – Italian GP – MotoGP Qualifying Results
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’46.575
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’46.814
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team 1’46.835
- PIRRO Michele 51 ITA Ducati Team 1’46.878
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1’46.999
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1’47.050
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team 1’47.152
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team 1’47.167
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Octo Pramac Racing 1’47.266
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’47.282
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’47.319
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’47.475
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda 1’47.220 (Q1)
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Reale Avintia Racing 1’47.272 (Q1)
- FOLGER Jonas 94 GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’47.305 (Q1)
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’47.625 (Q1)
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA Reale Avintia Racing 1’47.809 (Q1)
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’47.940 (Q1)
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’47.961 (Q1)
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR Octo Pramac Racing 1’47.975 (Q1)
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team 1’48.361 (Q1)
- LOWES Sam 22 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’48.416 (Q1)
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’48.594 (Q1)
- GUINTOLI Sylvain 50 FRA Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’48.892 (Q1)
Franco Morbidelli heads Alex Marquez for pole
Championship leader Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) took a last minute pole position on home turf at Mugello, taking provisional pole from teammate Alex Marquez just at the flag – and by only 0.036. Behind the only two Moto2™ race winners of the season so far is Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team), taking a front row start for his home GP.
Franco Morbidelli: 1st – 1’51.679
“It feels fantastic to be on pole position in front of my home crowd and the atmosphere today was incredible. I got the perfect drive coming out of the last corner to get in behind Hernandez and I am so happy it was enough to take pole position on a track where I’ve never been strong in the past. Tomorrow is when we fight for points and I must stay calm because 21-laps in these hot conditions will be very difficult. But it would mean a lot for me to win here in Mugello. The crowd have really got behind me and it would be brilliant to reward their support with a victory. It would be amazing but I have to keep in mind that the World Championship is very important and I can’t take silly risks just to win at home.”
Álex Márquez: 2nd – 1’51.715
“I am happy to be on the front row again and it was very close to being pole position. I think we made the perfect strategy to attack in the first laps and I’m happy because my best lap was done all on my own. I knew even after only three laps when I did my best time that the only way my time could be beaten would be with the help of a slipstream and that’s what happened. Second is still a good result but I am expecting a hard race for both the body and the bike. It will be physically demanding in the hot conditions and we need to pay attention to the tyres because in the heat the grip is not so easy to find. But I am confident I can fight for the win in the home of my teammate!”
Title contenders Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) and Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) head the second row, with Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team) showing an impressive turn of pace in sixth to lock out Row 2.
Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was the fastest rookie in P7 to steal that honour back from recent podium finisher Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46), with Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) gearing up for his home GP from eighth – having been only a fraction of the win in 2016.
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) lines up ninth as he guns for another podium for the intermediate class KTM chassis, with veteran Italian Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) flying the flag for the Speed Up chassis in tenth.
Remy Gardner produced a solid performance in the Italian GP qualifying shootout to seize a notable fourth row start for the 21-lap sprint. The young Australian got on the pace immediately but an unfortunate crash late on in the session halted any further progress. Nevertheless, tomorrow he will seek to seize his first championship points of the year aboard the Mistral 610.
Remy Gardner – P11
“I am happy with the overall result even though the qualifying ended in a disappointing way due to the crash. I feel like I have found myself on the bike this weekend and my ankle is healing up a lot better which is really positive. I fell at the end of the session because I was pushing too hard and I knew that I could achieve a better time so I was just trying. My bike may not be in such a great shape, but I’m ok which is good news for tomorrow. It’s a shame that I couldn’t improve because I really thought that I could crack the top ten, but anyway, the main event is to come and I’m sure that we can bring the Mistral home in a decent position.”
Injury replacement rider and 2015 Moto3 World Champion Danny Kent putting Iker Lecuona’s Garage Plus Interwetten machine into twelfth.
Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), Yonny Hernandez (AGR Team) and Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) completed the top fifteen – with Bagnaia just behind in sixteenth.
MotoGP 2017 – Round Six – Mugello – Italian GP – Moto2 Qualifying Results
- Franco Morbidelli (ITA – Kalex) 1’51.679
- Álex Márquez (SPA – Kalex) + 0.036
- Mattia Pasini (ITA – Kalex) + 0.079
Jorge Martin (SPA) took his third consecutive pole – Then loses it to John McPhee through penalty
Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) has taken his fourth pole of the year – and third in a row – at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, with a stunning last dash over the line to just steal the honours from John McPhee (British Talent Team) and Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing). However, with a penalty for Martin from FP3 of 12 grid positions, McPhee will start from P1 and a host of riders behind will be shuffled forward a position.
John McPhee – P1
“First I need to look at the positives and say thanks to the team and everyone around me. We went to the test in Le Mans and made a big step forward, then we came here and backed this up with a strong weekend. We’ve been strong in every session and back where we need to be. We can do a good job, be in the front and fight for the podium.”
Mir was one to suffer an early incident with a highside out of Turn 1 during the session, rider ok, before home hero Nicolo Bulega then also took a highside tumble without consequence. With the action then dying down to leave the riders lying in wait in pitlane, the final dash saw the majority of the grid fighting in the final minute for a chance at pole.
As the initial group crossed the line, it seemed that pole position was going to go to the British Talent Team – but a last effort from Martin, including a move on teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio before the line, saw the Spaniard steal the show in the last few seconds to head McPhee and Mir.
‘Diggia’ was fourth fastest, ahead of an impressive bounce back from Bulega and another solid performance from Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing) to set the sixth best lap.
Championship hopeful Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) was P7 for his home race, with Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) in eighth in another solid showing of form for the Spaniard.
Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) got back into the top ten in ninth, with Tatsuki Suzuki flying the flag for the new SIC58 Sqaudra Corse in P10 as they line up on home turf on the world stage for the first time.
Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) just beat Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) to P11, with Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46), Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Darryn Binder (Platinum Bay Real Estate) completing the fastest fifteen.
MotoGP 2017 – Round Six – Mugello – Italian GP – Moto3 Qualifying Results
- Jorge Martin (SPA – Honda) 1’57.176
- John McPhee (GBR – Honda) +0.148
- Joan Mir (SPA – Honda) + 0.194