Rossi Delights Home Crowd with Mugello Pole

Valentino Rossi sent the Mugello crowd into raptures by claiming a stunning pole position for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix. The home favourite delivered the quickest lap of the weekend at the perfect moment assisted by, of all people, Maverick Vinales as the current Yamaha rider pipped his future teammate to pole.

The drama began in Q1 with a number of high-profile riders missing the cut in final practice, forcing them into the first session. Pol Espargaro was among them but he appeared to have secured a Q2 spot when he clocked a 1:47.159 early in the session but a crash on his final run ultimately proved costly as Scott Redding and Aleix Espargaro knocked him out. The Tech 3 rider wasn’t the only big-name casualty though with Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow also eliminated.

Having topped the timesheets in every dry practice session, Ducati’s Andrea Iannone was the hot favourite for pole and the Italian latched onto the back of Jorge Lorenzo early in Q2. The strategy of following the reigning champion clearly worked as Iannone set a 1:46.727 and an identical tactic on the second run enabled him to go a tenth faster soon afterwards.

With the expected challenge from Lorenzo and Marc Marquez failing to materialise, all eyes were on the Yamaha of Rossi in the dying seconds and after positioning himself perfectly behind the Suzuki of Vinales, ‘The Doctor’ snatched pole from his compatriot with a 1:46.504. Vinales wasn’t finished yet and improved to second on his last lap but pole went to the home favourite.

Iannone will line up third with Marquez and Lorenzo line-astern in fourth and fifth, just ahead of the second Suzuki of Espargaro. Dani Pedrosa heads row three ahead of Bradley Smith and Danilo Petrucci while Scott Redding starts tenth thanks to his Q1 heroics.


2016 Gran Premio d’Italia TIM (Qualifying Classification)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time 
146. Valentino ROSSIYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:46.504Q2
225. Maverick VINALESSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:46.598Q2
329. Andrea IANNONEDucatiDucati Team1:46.607Q2
493. Marc MARQUEZHondaRepsol Honda Team1:46.759Q2
599. Jorge LORENZOYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:46.882Q2
641. Aleix ESPARGAROSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:47.186Q2
726. Dani PEDROSAHondaRepsol Honda Team1:47.218Q2
838. Bradley SMITHYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:47.247Q2
99. Danilo PETRUCCIDucatiOcto Pramac Yakhnich1:47.261Q2
1045. Scott REDDINGDucatiOcto Pramac Yakhnich1:47.359Q2
1151. Michele PIRRODucatiDucati Team1:47.361Q2
1268. Yonny HERNANDEZDucatiAspar MotoGP Team1:47.436Q2
134. Andrea DOVIZIOSODucatiDucati Team1:47.089Q1
1444. Pol ESPARGAROYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:47.159Q1
158. Hector BARBERADucatiAvintia Racing1:47.555Q1
1635. Cal CRUTCHLOWHondaLCR Honda1:47.659Q1
1743. Jack MILLERHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:47.830Q1
1850. Eugene LAVERTYDucatiAspar MotoGP Team1:48.111Q1
1919. Alvaro BAUTISTAApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:48.372Q1
206. Stefan BRADLApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:48.646Q1
2176. Loris BAZDucatiAvintia Racing1:48.991Q1
2253. Tito RABATHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDSNo TimeQ1