Dani Pedrosa sensationally took pole position for tomorrows Italian Grand Prix with the fastest ever two-wheeled lap of the Tuscan circuit from fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, who also dipped under the old mark set by Pedrosa in the same session last year.
|Pedrosa storms to Pole Position at Mugello
Photo: Repsol Honda
The afternoon session began with the 30 minute FP4 session and was a final chance for the riders to work on race pace without the pressure of posting an ultimate fast time ahead of the two 15 minute Q1 and Q2 immediately following the practice session. Times are almost irrelevant through FP4 as they don’t count towards any qualifying position, but it was Pedrosa who was fastest on a similar pace to his FP3 time of the morning followed by Lorenzo, Bradl, Rossi, Crutchlow, Dovizioso, an improving Marquez on his number one bike ahead of Bautista, Hayden.
Qualifying 1 as always asked the big question as to who would join the big guns in Q2, with Iannone, Smith and Marquez in attendance it was almost a foregone conclusion after the results from FP4 that Marquez would be top the pile leaving Smith, Iannone and de Puniet to fight it out but as the flag dropped on the session it was the rookie pairing of Marquez and Smith comfortably posting 1m48s times ahead of Iannone some 0.5s adrift. An excellent run from Michael Laverty on the in-house PBM machine saw the Northern Irishman take 19th place on the grid for tomorrows race.
As has been the case this season with the new qualifying structure, the Q2 session was a manic 15 minutes of track time that saw Lorenzo set the early marker with a 1:47.621 ahead of the injured Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi who were circulating together with Crutchlow before the Brit lost the front of his Yamaha M1 and found himself in a race against time to get out on his number 2 bike. A mid session change of rubber for the front runners saw the top five as Lorenzo from Marquez and Rossi with a resurgent Bradl and a lurking Pedrosa in fifth before the final 4 laps in the race for Pole Position.
Jorge Lorenzo looked to have secured Pole Position with a new absolute 2-wheel lap record, beating the previous record set by Dani Pedrosa in the same session last year by 0.06s only to see his pint-sized countryman put in the lap of his life to reclaim his record with a stunning 1:47.157s lap. Andrea Dovizioso continued his form from Le Mans as he snatched third from an angry Cal Crutchlow who managed to get back out on circuit after his spill, with Bradl fifth, Marquez an impressive sixth and hometown hero Valentino Rossi a disappointing seventh after his bright showing yesterday.
The race tomorrow is shaping up to be a classic, will Lorezo’s ultimate metronomic pace take him to victory once again in Tuscany or will Pedrosa continue his winning streak and make it a hat-trick of wins for the first time in the premier class? Can Rossi pull a podium out at ‘his’ circuit because, if not, then even more questions will be asked whether he can race at the level of those ahead of him, also will Marquez beat Max Biaggis rookie record of 4 straight podiums? We can’t wait to find out.
|1||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||340.5||1’47.157|
|2||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||338.7||1’47.226||0.069 / 0.069|
|3||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||341.0||1’47.628||0.471 / 0.402|
|4||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||340.0||1’47.632||0.475 / 0.004|
|5||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||340.8||1’47.737||0.580 / 0.105|
|6||93||Marc MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||338.4||1’47.763||0.606 / 0.026|
|7||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||340.6||1’47.872||0.715 / 0.109|
|8||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||339.8||1’48.006||0.849 / 0.134|
|9||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||Honda||342.9||1’48.355||1.198 / 0.349|
|10||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||Ducati Test Team||Ducati||341.8||1’48.564||1.407 / 0.209|
|11||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||333.9||1’48.706||1.549 / 0.142|
|12||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||330.5||1’48.765||1.608 / 0.059|