News 10 Sep 2017

Viñales charges to MotoGP pole at Misano's grand prix

Honda-mounted Miller scrapes into the top 15 at San Marino.

Source: Supplied.

Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took pole position on his penultimate lap in qualifying at Misano’s 13th round of the MotoGP World Championship, deposing home hero and key championship rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), who will now start second.

Completing the top three is reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who crashed in the session when on his fastest lap.

Despite doubts about the weather, Saturday gave the grid good conditions for practice and qualifying at Misano, and pole position came down to a three-way duel.

Dovizioso was the man on provisional pole as Viñales and Marquez began their final pushes, with the younger Spaniard going fastest on his penultimate effort and then rolling off after Marquez fell out of contention.

Fourth was a late dash from Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), riding with a finger injury, and the Brit headed five-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) by only 0.024s. Joining the experienced duo on row two is rookie Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who bounced back from a crash on Saturday morning to take a second row start in sixth.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) is seventh – one place higher than his qualifying position last year, when he went on to win – with Friday’s fastest Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) taking eighth. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) moved up slightly on his last lap, and completes the third row in P9.

Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) is P10 after leading the charge from Q1, with Ducati test rider and wildcard Michele Pirro suffering a problem in the session and lining up in 11th. Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) completed the top 12.

From Q1, P13 is Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) despite a big crash earlier on Saturday, with Australia’s Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in 14th after having a lap deleted. Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) locked out the fastest 15, with Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) also falling foul of track limits and relegated to P16 after marginally heading wide in Q1.

Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) will start his second home race of the year from pole position in Moto2, taking the honour for the fourth-consecutive time and aiming to take his second home turf victory of the season on Sunday.

The closest challenger was once again compatriot Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), with the Championship leader only 0.083s off. Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) took third after a weekend of good pace, back on the front row for the first time since Jerez.

Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) – winner at the track last season – made a late lunge onto the second row in P4, heading multiple Misano winner Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia). Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) took sixth, fastest rookie once again to lock out row two. Aussie Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing) completed qualifying in 22nd position.

In Moto3, Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) will start the Misano grand prix from pole position after a new lap record in qualifying – and a dramatic end to the session. An incident out the final corner on the final run saw Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) lose control and his bike get collected by Livio Loi (Leopard Racing), creating a spectacular crash for the Belgian rider but with both riders soon up and on their feet.

Behind that drama, Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) just missed out on pole and starts from the middle of the front row, with Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) taking third.

Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) was the first man to break Brad Binder’s former pole record, and the Italian heads up the second row after the dust settles on a frantic session. Just behind him is Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers), with Rodrigo set to line up in sixth despite that late drama.

Racing at the San Marino’s 13th round of the prestigious world championship is scheduled to kick off on Sunday.