Jorge Lorenzo finally claimed his first pole position of the 2014 MotoGP season after a qualifying session full of surprises at Misano. The Yamaha rider, who has won each of the last three San Marino Grands Prix, snatched pole from under the nose of Andrea Iannone while the dominant Marc Marquez missed out on the front row for the first time in over a year.
Ducati had fired a warning to their rival manufacturers in morning practice by locking out the top two spots courtesy of Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso and the latter leapt straight to provisional pole in Q2, making full use of a tow provided by Lorenzo’s Yamaha. The inevitable response from Marquez came six minutes into the session, the reigning champion going top on a 1:33.435, but the Repsol Hondas were unquestionably beatable.
Few expected Iannone to be the man to overhaul him but the Italian duly delivered with a 1:33.289 two minutes from the end. Marquez didn’t have an answer for the Pramac Ducati but Lorenzo certainly did, sneaking in front by 0.051s. Valentino Rossi followed up the fastest FP4 time with third on the grid, knocking Marquez to a season-low of fourth.
Dani Pedrosa will start alongside his teammate in fifth with Andrea Dovizioso ensuring two Ducatis will start on the front two rows. The third row will see both Espargaro brothers line up with Pol pipping Aleix to seventh while Bradley Smith will start ninth on the second Tech 3 Yamaha.
Despite showing much stronger pace this weekend, Cal Crutchlow had another disastrous qualifying session as a tactical error from Ducati denied him a spot in Q2. The Briton appeared to be safe on a 1:34.495, a view certainly taken by the team, but Yonny Hernandez and Stefan Bradl both found time on their last lap to relegate a furious Crutchlow to third. The Coventry rider sarcastically applauded his squad before departing the garage, mindful that he will now line up in thirteenth place tomorrow.