until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Crash denies Marquez Mugello MotoGP pole, Martin gets it

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

MotoGP championship leader Jorge Martin took pole position for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, as Marc Marquez crashed from a lap that would've likely dethroned his compatriot.

Gresini Ducati rider Marquez had tucked in Pedro Acosta on his first Q2 lap to record a credible banker time, but seemed to be in a worse position starting his first flyer on his second run - boxed in right behind Trackhouse Aprilia's Miguel Oliveira.

But he lunged on Oliveira into San Donato, surprisingly kept his line and set out to reel in Pramac Ducati's Franco Morbidelli as a reference for the rest of the lap

Marquez was a quarter of a second up after two sectors when he crashed out at Scarperia. He has been relatively uncompetitive through the third sector during the weekend, so pole was no foregone conclusion, but he would've likely made up for it with sector four - where he's thrived, likely thanks to the presence of the long left-hander Bucine.

The crash meant Martin's 1m44.504s, the new lap record set on his initial run, was good enough for pole despite Martin himself failing to improve on his second run.

Also failing to improve on his second run was reigning champion Pecco Bagnaia - who had flashed imperious race pace in pre-qualifying practice but only placed second in Q2, and will thus start Sunday's race from fifth due to the application of a three-place grid penalty for impeding Alex Marquez on Friday.

Bagnaia will still line up second in the sprint as the penalty is only applied for the full-length race.

Aprilia rider Maverick Vinales tucked in behind Bagnaia on the first run to secure the third-fastest time. He even briefly threatened to improve on that late on, ultimately setting a worse time but one that would've still put him on the front row.

The elder Marquez, who ended up fourth despite his crash, will thus start the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday third - behind Martin and Vinales and ahead of Bagnaia.

Bagnaia's team-mate Enea Bastianini placed fifth, while Morbidelli - who had already broken the lap record in Q1 - made it five Ducatis in the top six.

Acosta settled for seventh as the only KTM/Gas Gas RC16 rider in Q2, and will be joined on row three by the younger Marquez and Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro.

Alex Rins was 10th as the lead Yamaha, followed by the Trackhouse Aprilia duo of Oliveira and Raul Fernandez.

Fernandez, though, would've been on the second row had he just matched his Q1 effort.

A crash for wildcard Pol Espargaro at Scarperia brought out yellow flags that cost Fabio Di Giannantonio a chance at not only picking off Binder but breaking into Q2, forcing the Italian to settle for 14th on the grid.

Fabio Quartararo will start 15th in the second Yamaha, two tenths off a Q2 spot despite Yamaha's much-improved form this weekend and his own clearly-strong race pace.

Di Giannantonio's VR46 team-mate Marco Bezzecchi's indifferent form continued with a 16th place, followed by Joan Mir in the best of the Hondas - a timely Quartararo tow helping Mir end Johann Zarco's streak as the top Honda qualifier than had run since Zarco's arrival.

Jack Miller was only 19th in the second works KTM, just barely ahead of Tech3 Gas Gas sophomore Augusto Fernandez and wildcard Espargaro despite the latter's crash.

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