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Misano MotoGP qualifying | MOTOGP | SPORT

Jorge Lorenzo claimed his third pole of the season and his second in a row with an new all-out record at the Misano World Circuit today. The factory Ducati rider dominated a dramatic session in which title leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) hit the ground running after a dramatic crash, and narrowly saved another one in his own bid to take the top slot.

Lorenzo, San Marino MotoGP 2018

His last pole at Silverstone was wasted when the race was cancelled due to an unfit track surface; that in Catalunya took him to a second straight win.

Ducatis have been strong throughout two days at the 4.226-km Marco Simoncelli circuit just inland from the Misano Riviera beach resorts; and it will be another of the Italian V4s alongside him on the front row. But it is independent-team rider Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Ducati) rather than second factory rider Andrea Dovizioso, who qualified fourth to lead row two.

Dovi was dropped in the closing stages by a blazing lap from a much-revived Maverick Vinales. The Movistar Yamaha rider was the third to dip under the 1m 32s mark.

“It has always been a good track for me,” said a confident Lorenzo; while Miller said: “I didn’t expect this, but I’ll take it. I’ve had a good pace all weekend.”

Vinales’s improvement follows strong dry runs at Silverstone, after electronic and chassis changes have lifted his mood and his performance.

Marquez, like Lorenzo, used a two-stop strategy in the 15-minute Q2 session. But his second stop was not as scheduled, when he lost the front and went barrelling into the gravel. He galloped to get a scooter lift then sprinted through his pit to take another run, and was challenging for pole when another front-wheel slide slowed him … though he managed to save it this time. He ended up fifth.

Alongside him, LCR Castrol Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who also tumbled in the session.

The last-gasp action dropped Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) to seventh on row three. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Ducati) and Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha) will start alongside him. Suzuki’s Alex Rins leads the fourth row from the pair through from Q1, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) and Franco Morbidelli (EG-VDS Honda). It was rookie Morbidelli’s second time to get into Q1, but short of tyres he could only do one run, and tumbled without setting a time.

Andrea Iannone (Suzuki) was best of the rest, ahead of crasher Michele Pirro and Alvaro Bautista (both Ducati); with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro heading row six from Bradley Smityh (KTM) and Honda wild card Stefan Bradl.

GP novice Christophe Ponsson, taking the place of injured Reale Avintia Ducati rider Tito Rabat, made the 107-percent qualifying cut comfortably, qualifying 26th and last.


Points leader Pecco Bagnaia (SKY VR46 Kalex) took a fifth pole position of the season, his first in Italy, in a record-breaking Moto2 session, with the first 20 within one second of the Italian rider.

“I’ll try to make a break early tomorrow, but I think it will be a tough race because the front tyre goes down a lot after 10 or 12 laps,” he said.

His closest rival, he thought, would be second-fastest Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Kalex); but his title rival Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) was barely half-a-second away, on the far end of row three, in ninth.

Third on the front row as veteran Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Kalex); with Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up) heading row two from Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder and Spaniard Jorge Navarro (Federal Oils Kalex). Second SKY VR46 Kalex rider Luca Marini was seventh, and Alex Marquez (EG-VDS Kalex) eighth.

Remy Gardner (Tech 3) was 19th; American Joe Roberts (NTS) 26th.


The all-out lap record was smashed also in Moto3, when Jorge Martin claimed his eighth top qualifying time for a 17th career pole start (both also records). The Del Conca Honda rider waited until the end of the session and perfectly judged the gaps in the traffic to depose long-time session leader Gabriel Rodrigo’s RBA KTM to second by three tenths.

Martin was the first Moto3 rider to lap in less than 1m 42s.

A second KTM – Jakub Kornfeil’s Redox bike – was in the top three at the end, only for his lap time to be disallowed. He dropped to ninth, promoting Aron Canet (EG Honda) to third; and moving his own Redox team-mate Marco Bezzecchi back onto the second row in sixth, alongside Enea Bastianini’s Leopard Honda.

Bezzecchi currently leads Martin by 12 points.

Nicolo Bulega (SKY VR46 KTM) and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Honda) head Kornfeil on row three; Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Honda heads the fourth.