Misano MotoGP: Vinales on pole amid Rossi/Marquez drama

Yamaha's Maverick Vinales led KTM standout Pol Espargaro in qualifying for MotoGP's San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, as tempers flared between Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi.

Misano MotoGP: Vinales on pole amid Rossi/Marquez drama

Marquez, who had a crash in the FP4 session that preceded qualifying, was sat behind Rossi on his final Q2 lap and looked on course to secure a front row spot.

But after the championship leader overtook Rossi at Curvone, the Yamaha rider closed back up after Marquez ran wide and launched it down the inside of the Honda man at the hairpin-like Turn 14, with both riders' laps compromised as Rossi ran wide.

Marquez was thus left fifth on the grid, five tenths off Vinales and two places up on Rossi.

Practice pace-setter Fabio Quartararo had taken the early lead in Q2 with a 1m32.686s, and bettered that with a 1m32.571s next time by as he and Franco Morbidelli made it a Petronas Yamaha 1-2 after the opening runs.

Morbidelli then looked set to challenge his teammate's benchmark, only to have his fastest lap thwarted by a slide that very nearly led to a highside.

But Quartararo likewise struggled to improve, and while he backed out of his final attempt, Espargaro - who had tucked in behind the rookie - eclipsed him with 1m32.560s.

This meant the Spaniard briefly held provisional pole for KTM, only for Vinales to find another three tenths for a 1m32.265s and grab the top spot.

Quartararo and Morbidelli completed the top four ahead of Marquez and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, who had been outside the top 10 for much of the session.

Espargaro's KTM teammate Johann Zarco will line up between Rossi and Suzuki's Alex Rins on the third row after having progressed from Q1.

Another rider to advance from the opening segment, Rins' teammate Joan Mir, will start 10th ahead of LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami - whose squadmate Cal Crutchlow had to settle for 14th - and Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro.

Pramac Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia came up 0.003s short of advancing from Q1 at Mir's expense, and will line up 13th on the grid.

Bagnaia did see off the likes of Pramac teammate Jack Miller, who held a provisional Q2 spot after the first runs but dropped down to 16th, and works Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci, who recorded his worst grid position of the season in 17th.

Aleix Espargaro was ahead of both in 15th for Aprilia, but his teammate Andrea Iannone was absent from the session entirely, after an FP4 crash - his third of the weekend - forced him to go to the medical centre with pain in his left shoulder.

Honda's Jorge Lorenzo, still recovering from injury, will line up 18th on the grid, having lapped six tenths off Q1 pace-setter Zarco.

Q2 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 12 Spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'32.265  
2 44 Spain Pol Espargaro KTM 1'32.560 0.295
3 20 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'32.571 0.306
4 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'32.710 0.445
5 93 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 1'32.742 0.477
6 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'33.038 0.773
7 46 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'33.079 0.814
8 5 France Johann Zarco KTM 1'33.123 0.858
9 42 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'33.265 1.0
10 36 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1'33.431 1.166
11 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'33.449 1.184
12 51 Italy Michele Pirro Ducati 1'33.461 1.196

Q1 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 5 France Johann Zarco KTM 1'33.147  
2 36 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1'33.485 0.338
3 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'33.488 0.341
4 35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'33.516 0.369
5 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'33.522 0.375
6 43 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 1'33.571 0.424
7 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'33.630 0.483
8 99 Spain Jorge Lorenzo Honda 1'33.777 0.630
9 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'34.162 1.015
10 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin KTM 1'34.322 1.175
11 17 Czech Republic Karel Abraham Ducati 1'34.401 1.254
12 53 Spain Tito Rabat Ducati 1'34.904 1.757
  29 Italy Andrea Iannone Aprilia    
shares
comments
Smith "very keen" to be KTM's Zarco replacement

Previous article

Smith "very keen" to be KTM's Zarco replacement

Next article

Marquez, Rossi summoned over qualifying clash

Marquez, Rossi summoned over qualifying clash
Load comments
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Prime

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the track's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP Prime

How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP

The 2020 MotoGP season was an enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if you thought the world championship was a poorer place without Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape.

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021