Mugello MotoGP: Vinales on pole ahead of home hero Rossi

MotoGP championship leader Maverick Vinales beat Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi to pole position for the Italian Grand Prix, topping qualifying for the second round in a row.

Mugello MotoGP: Vinales on pole ahead of home hero Rossi
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Danilo Petrucci, Pramac Racing

After progressing from Q1, Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci threatened to spring a surprise on home soil at Mugello, leading the way into the closing stages with a lap of 1m47.266s.

Vinales, though, was only 0.005 seconds behind Petrucci and, after Honda's Dani Pedrosa grabbed the top spot briefly, the points leader vaulted to the top inside the final two minutes.

His 1m46.575s was not bettered, even as Petrucci improved to a 1m46.714s on his penultimate lap to get within 0.139s.

However, Petrucci’s time was scrapped for exceeding track limits at Borgo San Lorenzo and he fell from second to ninth.

Rossi was the main beneficiary, having been 11th of the 12 riders entering the final 60 seconds of Q2 before turning the 1m46.814s that put him second on the grid.

The Italian is riding nine days after sustaining chest injuries in a motocross training accident and spending a night in hospital, and also fell in the FP4 session that preceded qualifying.

Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso will start from the front row of the grid for the first time in 2017 in third place alongside the Yamahas.

Five Ducatis were in action in Q2, with test rider and wildcard Michele Pirro qualifying fourth, Jorge Lorenzo seventh and Aspar satellite rider Alvaro Bautista eighth ahead of Petrucci.

Honda pair Pedrosa and Marc Marquez will start fifth and sixth, the latter having improved on his final lap.

Tito Rabat qualified a career-best 10th for Marc VDS Honda, one spot ahead of Tech 3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco, who joined Petrucci in progressing from Q1.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro crashed at Arrabbiata 2 on his first flying lap, but got back out his second RS-GP for the second half of the session and will start 12th.

Friday pacesetter Cal Crutchlow was the biggest casualty of Q1, contesting the session after falling out of the combined practice top 10 in Saturday morning’s third session.

Crutchlow moved to the top of the times briefly with two minutes remaining, but was then pipped by Zarco and Petrucci, missing out on a Q2 spot by 0.079s.

Zarco’s Tech 3 teammate Jonas Folger also spent time in the top two, only to crash at Palagio on his final run.

Folger will line up 15th, one spot ahead of Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone, while Pol Espargaro was the best of the KTMs in 18th.

Q2 results:

Pos.#DriverBikeTimeGap
1 25 spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'46.575  
2 46 italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'46.814 0.239
3 4 italy Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'46.835 0.260
4 51 italy Michele Pirro Ducati 1'46.878 0.303
5 26 spain Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'46.999 0.424
6 93 spain Marc Marquez Honda 1'47.050 0.475
7 99 spain Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 1'47.152 0.577
8 19 spain Alvaro Bautista Ducati 1'47.167 0.592
9 9 italy Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'47.266 0.691
10 53 spain Tito Rabat Honda 1'47.282 0.707
11 5 france Johann Zarco Yamaha 1'47.319 0.744
12 41 spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'47.475 0.900

Q1 results:

Pos.#DriverBikeTimeGap
1 5 france Johann Zarco Yamaha 1'47.058  
2 9 italy Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'47.141 0.083
3 35 united_kingdom Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'47.220 0.162
4 8 spain Hector Barbera Ducati 1'47.272 0.214
5 94 germany Jonas Folger Yamaha 1'47.305 0.247
6 29 italy Andrea Iannone Suzuki 1'47.625 0.567
7 76 france Loris Baz Ducati 1'47.809 0.751
8 44 spain Pol Espargaro KTM 1'47.940 0.882
9 43 australia Jack Miller Honda 1'47.961 0.903
10 45 united_kingdom Scott Redding Ducati 1'47.975 0.917
11 17 czech_republic Karel Abraham Ducati 1'48.361 1.303
12 22 united_kingdom Sam Lowes Aprilia 1'48.416 1.358
13 38 united_kingdom Bradley Smith KTM 1'48.594 1.536
14 50 france Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki 1'48.892 1.834
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