Round six of the MotoGP world championship takes place in Italy and before seeing home legend Valentino Rossi take pole in the main event, Romano Fenati had already given his Moto3 team and the fans at the Mugello circuit something to celebrate, taking pole in the Moto3 class.
In Moto2 the home celebrations moved to the Gresini garage as the Italian team saw Sam Lowes cruise to pole with an early fast lap.
Moto3 once again provided and action packed final few minutes as home hero Romano Fenati proved he had well and truly beaten his qualifying demons with a perfectly timed fast lap for pole.
The Italian was last out of the pit as the a large group of riders shot back into the pit for clear track, wasting a lap, he was only leaving for the first time and used his last bit of time on track to help elevate his Sky Racing VR46 team-mate and fellow countryman Andrea Migno to third – later second as there was further drama when Francesco Bagnaia had his final fast lap cancelled for exceeding track limits.
The pair are joined on the front row by rookie Khairul Idham Pawi, who picked up pace and places as the clock ticked down to zero after an impressive run. Malaysian was also the top Honda rider behind the lead KTM duo.
Brad Binder had problems before so much as turning a wheel in qualifying after smashing his bike in half during FP3, but looked confident. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider and winner of the last two rounds starts fourth after slowing in front of a stream of riders looking for a tow, slowing them too but losing out on the opportunity for a front row start in the process.
Jorge Navarro was lucky to hold on to fifth after poor pit strategy left him with no chance of a final flying lap for Estrella Galicia 0,0, the second row is completed by Gresini’s Enea Bastianini, returning from injury after sitting out Le Mans.
The third Sky entry also made it into the top ten on the grid , with Nicolo Bulega in seventh. He is kept company on row three by the demoted Mahindra rider Bagnaia in eighth and Aron Canet on the second Estrella Galicia entry in ninth.
Leopard Racing’s Joan Mir completes the top ten.
Not every Italian had a great day at the office with Nico Antonelli following in Binders footsteps and destroying his bike, leaving him 22nd on the grid.
The Peugeot Mahindra team continue their struggle for pace with Alexis Masbou in 27th and John McPhee 28th.
Moto3 has become known for being fast and frantic,whereas Moto2 suffers from being last on the Saturday as the track temperature rises and has become a game of skill somewhat in knowing just when to put in a fast lap before the track slows.
Gresini’s Sam Lowes managed his lap to perfection to take pole with a lap from around the mid-way point in the session with few improving afterwards.
The British rider will be joined by Taka Nakagami in second for Idemitsu Team Honda and a front row first timer, Lorenzo Baldassarri, in third at his and his Forward Racing teams home race.
The AGR Team also enjoyed a great day at Mugello with their pairing of Axel Pons and Marcel Schrotter in fourth and fifth on the timesheets. Sixth on the grid went to reigning champion Johann Zarco for Ajo Motorsport.
Tom Luthi slots into seventh for Interwetten, Simone Corsi held eighth for Speed Up despite a late crash, with Alex Rins also unable to make any improvements after also falling from his Paginas Amarillas HP 40 machine late in the session, leaving the championship leader ninth.
Rookie Luca Marini equalled his best qualifying placing to date on the second Forward entry in tenth.
For the full Moto3 qualifying result click here
For the full Moto2 qualifying result click here