Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa beat his own qualifying lap record at Mugello to claim his first pole position of the season in an enthralling day of action in Italy.
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso ensured three different manufacturers at the front of the grid and plenty of smiles for the Italian fans with a best lap time of 1’47.628 that settled him in third place. Having entered directly into QP2 after a strong performance in FP3 this morning, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the best qualifier among the CRT entries, setting a time of 1'48.765 to qualify in P12.
The morning cloud cover lifted for the afternoon sessions, with dry track conditions and a peak track temperature of 44°C offering excellent conditions for the time attack in qualifying.
The temperatures experienced today were still lower than historically recorded at Mugello, so all riders preferred using the softer rear slick option for greater grip and warm-up performance in combination with the harder front slick that gives superior front-end stability. It is expected that if the dry conditions prevail tomorrow that this same combination of slick tyres will be widely used.
Tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix will start at 1400 local time tomorrow (GMT +2) with Morning Warm Up taking place from 0940-1000.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “The pace we saw today was very good with two riders lapping under the existing qualifying lap record and it is pleasing to see three different manufacturers on the front row!
Track temperatures were the highest we’ve seen this weekend but it was still a bit cooler than usual for Mugello, so hardly any riders evaluated the harder rear slicks today.
In FP4 many riders did long runs on the softer rear slicks and the durability of this option was good, so if we have a dry race tomorrow I expect that the combination of the harder front and softer rear slicks will be popular. ”