Round Six – Mugello
Qualifying Results / Report
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) played qualifying to perfection in the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley as the reigning Champion struck late to take his second pole position at Mugello and reassert some authority over ever-impressive rookie Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT), setting a new lap record in the process.
Nevertheless, Frenchman Quartararo will start his first premier class race at Mugello from second as both top Yamaha and top Independent Team rider, with Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) completing the front row and flying the tricolore after a difficult day for a couple of his compatriots on home turf.
Marc Marquez – P1
“It was a difficult Qualifying because it was different to other races and a bit hard to find space. With the first tyre I was ready to attack straight away but then Dovi slowed down so I overtook him and I lost some time there. Pirro was also trying to follow me for the slipstream so tactics were needed. With the second tyre we just followed our strategy and I found a good space with slipstream and I calculated the space to Dovi perfectly. The pole position is important but the most important part is being on the front row. There are a lot of opponents for tomorrow’s race!”
Fabio Quartararo – P2
“It was an incredible qualifying session! When I set a 1:45, I thought it was a very fast lap, but then I was able to repeat it. On my last lap I tried everything but I made some small mistakes. Nevertheless, we managed to finish on the front row. We feel really good with the bike, I’m very happy and our race pace is great. Tyre choice will be critical tomorrow. I love this circuit and I enjoy it a lot on a MotoGP bike. The bike corners very well and I feel very strong. I can’t wait.”
Danilo Petrucci – P3
“I’m very happy for this first row, because it was really important for us to make the most of our potential even during qualifying after posting the provisional new best lap in the morning. Before going out on track for Q2, my goal was to do a 1:45.8 and take first row, which is what actually happened, even though someone was able to do slightly better. I expect a tough race tomorrow, because I’m still not 100 percent fit due to a cold. After some laps I feel fatigued, but our pace seems competitive and the support of all the ducatisti in the grandstands will surely give me extra energy. It’ll be crucial to have a good start, then we’ll try to play our cards wisely.”
It was a star-studded Q1 to begin deciding the grid, with Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) and Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) all fighting it out to move through, and it was a nail-biter of a finale – for Dovizioso at least. On his final flying lap it was all or nothing for the 2017 Mugello winner, but he made it count to top wildcard and teammate Michele Pirro by just thousandths – knocking out Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), who therefore starts 13th.
But that’s better reading than it is for Lorenzo and Rossi, who line up in P17 and P18 respectively after not making it out of Q1 – 13 premier class wins at Mugello on Row 6.
Jorge Lorenzo – P17
“We tried to improve the bike but we’re still missing that last piece or step and I’m struggling more than normal. Honda and myself are working hard together to find a solution to make me more comfortable on the bike but of course the rules limit what we can do. Tomorrow we will see what happens at this physical track.”
Valentino Rossi – P18
“This morning was quite a good practice. At the end I was on a good lap to get inside the top-10, but unfortunately I made a mistake in the last corner, and after that I had to go to Q1. In the afternoon, in FP4, I used a used tyre but, sincerely, I wasn’t very fast, so that’s when I realised it would be difficult to try to get into Q2. In Q1 we waited a bit and I took the chequered flag at the end. But anyway, I was too slow to get into Q2, unfortunately. Tomorrow we will try something different, because today – though we already improved the pace a lot compared to yesterday – it’s not enough. So in tomorrow’s Warm Up it will be very interesting to try to find something better. After that, the race will be hard, because I will start far towards the back and my pace is not fantastic. We need to stay concentrated, give the maximum, and try to take some points.”
In Q2 then, Dovizioso had another shot – but it was Marquez who was back in the driving seat. After getting followed by Pirro the reigning Champion decided to turn the tables on Ducati in the latter half of the session and actually followed key rival Dovizioso on what would turn out to be his record-breaking pole lap – getting a good tow from the Borgo Panigale machine as the flag came out and able to depose Quartararo. The Frenchman topped FP4 but couldn’t quite eke out those final two tenths, and he didn’t get a tow to the line…
Petrucci then is the sole home hero on the front row, and he’s had some serious pace all weekend. Searching for his first win and with previous podium experience at the venue, he could be one to watch and will be joining Quartararo on the mission to overtake Marquez off the line and convert pace into podium.
Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) heads an all-Independent Team Row 2 ahead of Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) in P7 and Friday’s fastest, rookie Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing), having a solid qualifying in P8 – just ahead of Dovizioso, who enjoyed a less solid day at the office. ‘DesmoDovi’ will need quite a start to try and get in the fight at the front from the off on Sunday – and it’s his 300th Grand Prix.
Franco Morbidelli – P4
“I’m very happy with our performance today; I didn’t expect to be that fast. I had a good feeling in FP4, although not so much in our first time attack in Q2. I felt better in the second run and I was able to set a 1:45.9, which is a good time at this circuit. It’s a good starting position for tomorrow. Tyre management will be very difficult in the race. We have to study the choice of compounds well tonight and we must take care of the tyres very well during the race. I’m eager to race in front of the Italian fans and give them a good result.”
Jack Miller – P5
“I am quite satisfied also because the race pace is positive. We have also worked hard on the tyres and we have taken important data in view of tomorrow’s choice. In qualifying I was expecting a bit more but the second row is not bad”.
Cal Crutchlow – P6
“I feel good actually and definitely a lot better than I did yesterday. We decided to focus our work on one bike and one setting which was good, because we could adjust small things from there. I wanted to be a bit quicker, and down into the 1’45s because that would have been there. We’re half a second behind Marquez in qualifying, but with the tow he got he probably picked up four-tenths, so we’re right there. I’m quite pleased with my qualifying lap because I did it all alone and it felt good. We threw everything at it with the package we have, which hasn’t felt the best. We’re working hard and the LCR Honda Castrol team are working great, getting the information we need to improve the bike. Overall, it’s good. It’s probably going to be a tyre war tomorrow, and hopefully we’ll make the right choices.”
Maverick Vinales – P7
“My pace is really good, but starting from seventh is always very difficult, very tough. We’re going to try to make a good start and ride some good first laps, which we have been working really hard on this weekend. Anyway, the race is always different, so then we will see where we are. The bike is moving a lot, I’m fighting it every lap. But anyway, luckily I’m physically really fit. I think I can arrive at the end of the race in a good condition. It’s going to be a tough and long race, with many bikes and overtakes, so we have to be smart and also manage the tyres.”
Pecco Bagnaia – P8
“We are improving and this is a very important fact. I really enjoyed the set up we did. The goal is to finish the race and try to take the Top 10. I can say that we are competitive and for tomorrow there is a lot of confidence”.
Andrea Dovizioso – P9
“We’re competitive in terms of race pace but unfortunately today we struggled on the single lap, which slightly complicated our plans but also helped us understand how to improve the setup of my Desmosedici GP during FP4, as shown by the good lap time posted to get through Q1. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to push to the limit in Q2 because of the traffic, which made it very difficult to put a clean lap together even though second row was within our reach. Tomorrow we’ll have to recover positions and keep a strong pace from the very start. Given the track conditions, it’ll be crucial to pick the right tyres for the race, then we’ll be able to fight.”
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) locks out the top ten, ahead of Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) after another automatic graduation to Q2 for the impressive Spaniard. Pirro slots into 12th as he starts his 100th GP, just ahead of the aforementioned Rins – one of many big names looking to launch forward quick style when the lights go out.
Takaaki Nakagami – P10
“Of course I’m really happy about the second day today because we have improved a lot from yesterday. During qualifying I was a little bit disappointed with what happened in sector four on the last lap. I hit the bumps and couldn’t hold on to the bike, so I lost a bit of time. Despite this, I was still able to improve on my best lap of the weekend. I’m a bit disappointed to drop to tenth on the grid, which is the fourth row. On the other hand, I’m really happy with my feeling on the bike. I am strong, especially in the middle two sectors on the track and everything is working well on the bike. For the race the tyre situation is quite clear for us, and so hopefully we will get a good start. I might not be fastest in terms of top speed, but I think we can be strong in the whole race. The main thing is not to give up, and I will do my best to bring home a good result for my LCR Honda Idemitsu Team”.
Pol Espargaro – P11
“I’m more than satisfied. The lap-time we did this morning was outstanding and I feel super-proud of what we are doing. I wanted to do better in the afternoon but if there is a small change then we pay for it quite hard. It was quite windy in some parts of the track in the afternoon and with the change of direction I could not move the bike. I was hitting T1 even faster than the morning lap but I was losing it through T2, 3, 4: more than four tenths of a second there. Honestly though I am super-happy and looking forward to tomorrow because I think we have better pace than what we are showing. It will be a fun race.”
Michele Pirro – P12
“I’m quite happy because I was able to do a 1:46.2 in Q1, which is my personal best here at Mugello, and both Dovizioso and I were able to make it through and be in Q2, preceding some tough rivals. Unfortunately, in Q2, the ‘waiting’ game with other riders made me lose a bit of focus and I wasn’t able to post a really quick lap time as I made some mistakes. I’m sorry because, with two new soft rear tyres, I could have possibly posted a high 1:45 and start much closer to the front, but I’m also confident ahead of the race and I hope all Ducati riders can be in the mix. We all work together to be protagonists here at Mugello.”
Alex Rins – P13
“I lost some confidence after my crash, but I recovered it in the later sessions. For the final lap of Q1, I exited the pits at the same time as Rossi, he was behind me on the time sheets and I thought he would be pushing, so I intended to stay behind him on the track as it’s always easier here with a tow. But in the end the lap got messed up and I just lost out on Q2. Tomorrow I’ll try to put together a good race, there are many competitive riders at the front, and I’ll push hard to be up with them.”
Aleix Espargaro – P15
“I think that getting below the 1’47 mark is a good result for the level we are at today. I certainly can’t be satisfied with the final position, but I did a good lap in a time that nobody has ever done with this bike, so I feel like I did as much as possible.In terms of top speed, we do not have big problems, but we are struggling too much in acceleration. I think I have a bit better race pace than I had at Le Mans, but it will be a very difficult race, with the heat and on a very difficult track.”
Mugello is always an incredible event, but with such a tantalising grid and a mix of searing ambition and veteran experience on every row, 2019 will surely be something special.
2019 Mugello MotoGP Qualifying Results
|13||A Rins||Q1||1’46.539||(*) 0.261|
|14||T Rabat||Q1||1’46.678||(*) 0.400|
|15||A Espargaro||Q1||1’46.899||(*) 0.621|
|16||K Abraham||Q1||1’47.028||(*) 0.750|
|17||J Lorenzo||Q1||1’47.135||(*) 0.857|
|18||V Rossi||Q1||1’47.184||(*) 0.906|
|19||J Zarco||Q1||1’47.394||(*) 1.116|
|20||J Mir||Q1||1’47.519||(*) 1.241|
|21||H Syahrin||Q1||1’48.222||(*) 1.944|
|22||M Oliveira||Q1||1’48.235||(*) 1.957|
|23||A Iannone||Q1||1’48.303||(*) 2.025|
Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) heads up the Moto2 grid at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley after another record-breaking day, with the German taking his third career pole position by an infinitesimal 0.040 ahead of teammate Tom Lüthi. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completes the front row, qualifying in the same P3 from which he took his first win of the year last time out and the third man of six to break the previous lap record. Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40), meanwhile, had a difficult day at the office and will start his home Grand Prix from P15.
Baldassarri was also one of four riders who moved through from Q1, with the Italian graduating just behind rookie Jorge Martin (Red Bull Ajo KTM) and Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) but marginally ahead of compatriot Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) as a few famous faces had initially failed to make the cut in the morning.
Bulega would go on to play a big role in the final grid, however, and he heads up Row 2 after his best qualifying in the class. He’s the top home rider and ahead of man of the moment Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up), with Friday’s fastest man, Luca Marini, making it both Sky Racing Team VR46 bikes on the second row as he ended the session in P6.
Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) got the better of Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) to take P7, with the Brit down in eighth after a crash in FP3. Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) is in ninth after he topped FP3 but failed to repeat the feat in the afternoon, with Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) completing the top ten despite still recovering from a broken collarbone.
Baldassarri down in P15 will be one to watch on race day as he pushes to come back through the back, as will Mattia Pasini (Petronas Sprinta Racing) down in P18 – can the Championship leader and the 2017 Mugello winner strike back on Sunday?
2019 Mugello Moto2 Qualifying Results
|14||Fabio Di Giannantoni||Q2||1’51.920||0.791|
|19||Brad Binder||Q1||1’52.025||(*) 0.366|
|20||Bo Bendsneyder||Q1||1’52.062||(*) 0.403|
|21||Dominique Aegerter||Q1||1’52.325||(*) 0.666|
|22||Stefano Manzi||Q1||1’52.438||(*) 0.779|
|23||Iker Lecuona||Q1||1’52.541||(*) 0.882|
|24||Lukas Tulovic||Q1||1’52.770||(*) 1.111|
|25||Marco Bezzecchi||Q1||1’53.510||(*) 1.851|
|26||Joe Roberts||Q1||1’53.652||(*) 1.993|
|27||Philipp Oettl||Q1||1’53.714||(*) 2.055|
|28||Steven Odendaal||Q1||1’53.806||(*) 2.147|
|29||Dimas Ekky Pratama Ina||Q1||1’54.478||(*) 2.819|
|30||Jake Dixon||Q1||1’54.682||(*) 3.023|
|31||Xavi Cardelus||Q1||1’55.774||(*) 4.115|
|32||Teppei Nagoe||Q1||1’55.822||(*) 4.163|
Home hero Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) will start his home Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley from his third career pole at Mugello, setting a stunning new lap record in qualifying to end Saturday nearly seven tenths clear of the competition. That competition is led by Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3), 0.673 down in second, with Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) the last man within a second of pole to lock out the front row.
After a frantic Q1 that saw rookie Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) lead the way ahead of Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing), Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) and Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai), the stage was set for a showdown in Q2 and, as always in Moto3, there was plenty of action packed in.
After the first run it was Friday’s fastest man Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) who led the way and Arbolino hadn’t even set a time, but there was drama for both Suzuki and teammate Antonelli as they’d left left pitlane before the lights went green – something that would later affect their grid positions immensely. Rodrigo was the first to move the goal posts and take over at the top at that point though, and the Argentine lowered his laptime again next time around. But then came Arbolino and the new lap record on his final lap of the session, with the Italian celebrating even before popping out from behind the bubble.
Rodrigo was therefore forced to settle for second, with Dalla Porta the man who’ll start alongside him in third after having moved up into the mix in the final few minutes. Andrea Migno was another late improver, the 2017 winner taking P4 at the flag to head the second row – an impressive feat after coming through Q1. Suzuki and teammate Niccolo Antonelli were fifth and sixth fastest at the flag, but their first laptimes were then cancelled after they were deemed to have gained an unfair advantage due to their earlier infraction – so it’s 2014 Mugello winner Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) who starts fifth, with Qatar GP winner Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) set to start alongside him in P6. After ending Day 1 outside the top twenty, the turnaround from the Japanese rider is an impressive one.
Ramirez took P7 and heads up the second row, ahead of Championship leader Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) after a more difficult session, with Suzuki’s fastest allowed lap putting him in P9 to complete Row 3. Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) completes the top ten.
Will qualifying prove to matter that much at Mugello, where the slipstream rules all? The likes of Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) – 16th – and Le Mans winner John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) – 17th – will join Antonelli, down in 18th, in hoping it doesn’t and that race day shuffles the pack once again.
2019 Mugello Moto3 Qualifying Results
|3||Lorenzo Dalla Porta Ita||Q2||1’57.276||0.869|
|19||Ayumu Sasaki||Q1||1’58.235||(*) 0.443|
|20||Jakub Kornfeil||Q1||1’58.282||(*) 0.490|
|21||Kazuki Masaki||Q1||1’58.471||(*) 0.679|
|22||Albert Arenas||Q1||1’58.496||(*) 0.704|
|23||Makar Yurchenko||Q1||1’58.714||(*) 0.922|
|24||Can Oncu||Q1||1’58.716||(*) 0.924|
|25||Kevin Zannoni||Q1||1’58.764||(*) 0.972|
|26||Ryusei Yamanaka||Q1||1’58.925||(*) 1.133|
|27||Gerry Salim||Q1||1’58.988||(*) 1.196|
|28||Vicente Perez||Q1||1’59.182||(*) 1.390|
|29||Filip Salac||Q1||1’59.897||(*) 2.105|
|30||Tom Booth-Amos||Q1||2’00.708||(*) 2.916|