MotoGP

Vinales Grabs Crucial Misano Pole Position

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Maverick Vinales - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

Maverick Vinales took his first pole position since Mugello in June after edging out his championship rivals in Q2 at Misano. The Spaniard saw off Andrea Dovizioso to take a crucial pole position while Marc Marquez was forced to settle for third after crashing on his final lap, setting the stage for a mouth-watering battle between the title protagonists.

Marquez had closed free practice as the fastest rider but the reigning champion was mired in traffic early in Q2, leaving the path clear for Vinales to clock the fastest time. The sole factory Yamaha rider was the first into the 1:32s but once Marquez had shaken off his pursuers, the Honda man soon jumped to the top of the timesheets with a 1:32.636.

The trio of factory Ducatis had made a quiet start but with five minutes remaining, Jorge Lorenzo joined his compatriots in the 1:32s to go third but Dovizioso found even more time on his final set of tyres, leaping all the way up to pole position despite running perilously close to exceeding track limits on the exit of the last corner.

Marquez however found himself way beyond the boundaries of the track at turn thirteen, losing the front end of his Honda and reaching the gravel trap while running at pole-position pace. Vinales made no such mistake though and a 1:32.439 would see him secure a fourth pole of 2017 despite another late improvement from Dovizioso.

Marquez held onto third ahead of Cal Crutchlow who demoted Lorenzo to fifth in the dying seconds. Johann Zarco pipped 2016 winner Dani Pedrosa to seventh with Danilo Petrucci and Aleix Espargaro rounding out the third row. The two Aspar Ducatis of Alvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham will line up tenth and twelfth after advancing from Q1 with Ducati test rider Michele Pirro between them on row four.

 

2017 Tribul Mastercard GP San Marino e Riviera di Rimini – Qualifying

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