MotoGP: Bagnaia Takes Fourth Consecutive Pole as Ducati Rule in Italy
The Ducati Lenovo duo will lead the grid, as teammate Jack Miller takes P2, with Luca Marini starting in third.
With four back-to-back pole positions, Francesco Bagnaia now matches the record set by Casey Stoner in 2008 for the Ducati team. The Italian ended the Q2 session just 0.025s ahead of Miller, while Marini achieves his first ever front row start in the MotoGP class.
Saturday wasn’t an easy day for the Polemen, however, as he faced the Q1 battle along with title rival Fabio Quartararo in difficult weather conditions at the Mindanao World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. While Bagnaia held his own, Quartararo unfortunately fell victim to the likes of Alex Marquez and Alex Rins – both of whom were desperate to top the board. However, it was a late P2 steal from Iker Lecuona to take the last spot into Q2, demoting Quartararo down to 15th place on the grid – the first time that the Frenchman has ever failed to enter Q2.
With Bagnaia and Lecuona already experienced with the track conditions heading into Q2, it was no surprise to find the pair at the top of the board at the beginning of the session.
The session consisted of constant swaps within the Top 3, with the likes of Danilo Petrucci, Pol Espargaro and Miguel Oliveira making appearances, while Jack Miller surged to second position with four minutes remaining. The Aussie was able to keep his place while continuing to improve his lap times, while multiple riders faced the gravel over the 15 minutes. Early prosperer Lecuona joined teammate Petrucci and Jorge Martin, along with Marc Marquez later on in the session.
Marquez had managed to take P3 before his fall, however it was no match for Marini’s last lap dash, as the Italian shot up onto the front row for the first time in the class.
Pol Espargaro, Miguel Oliveira and Franco Morbidelli follow the Ducati trio on the Second Row – with Morbidelli being the sole Yamaha rider inside the Top 14.
Marquez ends up down in P7 on the grid after a rather bumpy Saturday, alongside him are the Tech 3 Factory KTM Racing duo Lecuona and Petrucci – the former achieving his best qualifying result in MotoGP to date.
Johann Zarco rounds out the Top 10, with Aleix Espargaro sandwiched in the middle of Row 4, just ahead of Jorge Martin, who suffered two crashes within the 15 minute session.
With Saturday being action packed, let’s hope we can say the same about Sunday!
MotoGP Race will begin at 14:00 Local Time (GMT +2).
Feature Image: MotoGP.com