Jorge Lorenzo dominated qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix, a tenth clear of Honda’s Marc Marquez and MotoGP points leader Valentino Rossi.
Rossi rescued a spot on the front row with a last-ditch banzai effort, having languished down on the third row in seventh until the closing moments.
Story of the session
Lorenzo’s opening gambit was 1m32.357s, clear of Marquez’s 1m32.641s for the provisional top spot. Lorenzo and Marquez pitted straight away for a fresh rear tyre, while Dani Pedrosa and Rossi stayed out.
Honda’s Pedrosa grabbed P2 with 1m32.589s on his second lap, while Rossi’s first sub-1m33s lap was only good enough for fifth on 1m32.952s, behind the Tech 3 Yamaha of Bradley Smith.
Lorenzo emerged on a new tyre and lowered the bar to 1m32.146s, which would remain the pole time, extending his advantage over Pedrosa to 0.443s. After making a mistake, Marquez bailed out of his second run and pitted again.
Smith lowered his time to 1m32.801s, but couldn’t challenge the front row qualifiers.
Michele Pirro then went fourth on Ducati’s test bike, using the soft rear tyre, while Andrea Iannone further demoted Rossi to seventh.
In the closing moments, Marquez took second at his third attempt with 1m32.252s but admitted he “didn’t do the perfect job”, with Pedrosa third on 1m32.434s.
Rossi was 0.8s adrift of his teammate’s pace at this point, down in seventh, but he managed to unleash a 1m32.358s to grab the final front-row starting spot.
That pushed Pedrosa down to fourth, ahead of fellow second-row starters Pirro and Smith.
Row three will be an all-Ducati affair, with the works bikes of Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso ahead of the Pramac-run version of Danilo Petrucci.
Aleix Espargaro and Cal Crutchlow progressed from Q1, and qualified 10th and 11th respectively.
The only crash of the session was Pol Espargaro, whose Tech 3 Yamaha went down early on at Turn 10. He will start 12th.
|22||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1'34.722||2.576|
|26||Alex de Angelis||ART/Aprilia||1'35.684||3.538|