Marc Marquez took pole position with the very last lap of a thrilling wet qualifying session for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, snatching it from Alex de Angelis.

Rain that fell during the MotoGP qualifying session left the Moto2 class with a sodden race track, and it became immediately clear which riders were feeling most comfortable in the treacherous conditions.

Bradley Smith has back-to-back podiums to his name from the two recent wet races, and the Briton was flying again, and took pole position early on ahead of wet-weather specialist Anthony West. Conditions gradually improved and the times tumbled, but Smith as an ever-present at the top, quickly beating the likes of Kenan Sofuoglu and Mattia Pasini who each held provisional pole, albeit briefly.

Smith's time of 2:07.483 remained unbeaten until the final four minutes when Marquez hit the front for the first time, going nearly a second quicker with a 2:06.654. One lap later and the gauntlet had been firmly laid down as the Spaniard improved again to a 2:06.389, but Smith kept himself in the hunt and reduced the gap back down to two tenths of a second.

Championship leader Stefan Bradl slipped under the radar for most of the session, lying on the fringes of the top ten, but in the dying seconds he came to life. The German had moved up to third and looked poised to unseat Marquez on his last lap. But with the chequered flag literally in sight, Bradl sat up having seemingly run out of fuel. Any chance of pole disappeared and the Viessman Kalex rider dropped back to seventh.

Instead, de Angelis took the fight to Marquez and took pole with a 2:05.897, but his joy was short-lived, as the 125cc World Champion put in a blistering lap, half a second quicker than the San Marino rider.

Smith lost out on his final lap as he tried to shake off a group of riders attempting to tuck in his slipstream, but will still start on the front row of a Moto2 grid for the first time. Xavier Simeon provided even more cheer for the Tech 3 squad with a career-best fourth on the grid ahead of Randy Krummenacher and Pol Espargaro.

Stefan Bradl will have Mattia Pasini and Mika Kallio for company on the third row while Anthony West impressed to qualify tenth.

The tricky conditions have contributed to a topsy-turvy grid, with several Grand Prix winners starting out of position. Andrea Iannone and Yuki Takahashi will both start on row five while two of this year's title contenders, Simone Corsi and Thomas Luthi will start together in 23rd and 24th.

Britain's Scott Redding had a miserable session and could only manage 28th but Aleix Espargaro and Jules Cluzel fared even worse and will start 32nd and 33rd.

 

Qualifying Result:

Pos Rider Nat Team Lap Time Gap
1 Marc Marquez SPA Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol 2:05.312
2 Alex de Angelis RSM JIR Moto2 2:05.897 +0.585
3 Bradley Smith GBR Tech 3 Racing 2:06.617 +1.305
4 Xavier Simeon BEL Tech 3 B 2:06.757 +1.445
5 Randy Krummenacher SWI GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing 2:06.941 +1.629
6 Pol Espargaro SPA HP Tuenti Speed Up 2:06.963 +1.651
7 Stefan Bradl GER Viessman Kiefer Racing 2:07.013 +1.701
8 Mattia Pasini ITA Ioda Racing Project 2:07.023 +1.711
9 Mika Kallio FIN Marc VDS Racing Team 2:07.147 +1.835
10 Anthony West AUS MZ Racing Team 2:07.249 +1.937
11 Esteve Rabat SPA Blusens-STX 2:07.549 +2.237
12 Robertino Pietri VEN Italtrans Racing Team 2:07.612 +2.300
13 Kenan Sofuoglu TUR Technomag-CIP 2:07.692 +2.380
14 Andrea Iannone ITA Speed Master 2:07.728 +2.416
15 Yuki Takahashi JAP Gresini Racing Moto2 2:07.780 +2.468
16 Yonny Hernandez COL Blusens-STX 2:07.844 +2.532
17 Ricard Cardus SPA QMMF Racing Team 2:07.864 +2.552
18 Jordi Torres SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 2:07.919 +2.607
19 Raffaele de Rosa ITA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 2:08.118 +2.806
20 Max Neukirchner GER MZ Racing Team 2:08.272 +2.960
21 Michele Pirro ITA Gresini Racing Moto2 2:08.289 +2.977
22 Kenny Noyes USA Avintia-STX 2:08.444 +3.132
23 Simone Corsi ITA Ioda Racing Project 2:08.562 +3.250
24 Thomas Luthi SWI Interwetten Paddock Moto2 2:08.681 +3.369
25 Tommaso Lorenzetti ITA Aeroport de Castello 2:08.840 +3.528
26 Alex Baldolini ITA NGM Forward Racing 2:08.883 +3.571
27 Carmelo Morales SPA Desguaces La Torre G22 2:08.970 +3.658
28 Scott Redding GBR Marc VDS Racing Team 2:09.265 +3.953
29 Mattia Tarozzi ITA Faenza Racing 2:09.409 +4.097
30 Dominique Aegerter SWI Technomag-CIP 2:09.616 +4.304
31 Claudio Corti ITA Italtrans Racing Team 2:09.911 +4.599
32 Aleix Espargaro SPA Pons HP 40 2:09.974 +4.662
33 Jules Cluzel FRA NGM Forward Racing 2:10.420 +5.108
34 Ratthapark Wilairot THA Thai Honda Singha SAG 2:10.436 +5.124
35 Mike Di Meglio FRA Tech 3 Racing 2:10.652 +5.340
36 Santiago Hernandez COL SAG Team 2:10.723 +5.411
37 Mashel Al Naimi QAT QMMF Racing Team 2:13.596 +8.284
107% Time: 2:14.084
NQ Valentin Debise FRA Speed Up 2:15.539 +9.227
NQ Axel Pons SPA Pons HP 40 No Time Injured