MotoGP Mugello: Vinales leads Yamaha 1 – 2 in qualifiers

  It looks like the tides are turning in favor of Yamaha MotoGP at Mugello when Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi made it a 1 – 2 in the qualifiers. A strong third practice session saw the two Yamaha riders easily get to Q2, without having to go through the first session. Championship rivals Dani Pedrosa and Reigning Champion Marc Marquez will start in row two, after qualifying fifth and sixth, respectively.

Surprise! Surprise! Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and wild-card rider Michele Pirro qualified third and fourth to go first and second row. Pirro on his return to MotoGP racing will lead off the second row!

Having amended the setting of his bike to his liking in the fourth practice, Viñales knew what he had to do to get the job done in the qualifiers. He was quick to leave pit lane as qualifying got underway and he didn’t hold back. He put in a 1:47.271 on his second flying lap to slot into second place before returning to the box with seven minutes on the clock, but he knew he had more in store for the second stint. Back on the track, one and half minute later, it was the Spaniard’s time to shine. He dominated the field with his third hot lap, a 1:46.575, to take first place in the rankings. His lap remained unbeaten over the remainder of the session, earning Viñales his third pole of the season, with his teammate coming within 0.239s of his time.

Rossi, who’d just recovered from the motorcross accident, did better than expected in the qualifiers. Wearing a special-liveried helmet dedicated to Nicky Hayden and other riders, Rossi didn’t show any sign of slowing down. He dropped a 1:47.539 to take provisional fifth place after the first flying lap. In the second run, he would drop to eleventh spot before posting a 1:46.814 on his third attempt to secure second overall.

Behind the Yamahas, Dovizioso’s pace was equally fast with a time of 1L46.835 that put him on the front row for the Italian GP. Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will start from the third row with the seventh fastest time of 1:47.152 in qualifying. Wild-card rider Pirro was on good form in his debut race in this year’s MotoGP season. The Ducati tester clocked a best time of 1:46.878, just 64/1000ths slower than Rossi, in second.

In the Repsol Honda camp, Pedrosa focused on refining the setup of his RC213V in FP4 before fighting hard in qualifying. His 1:46.999 time, less then 2 tenths off a front-row position, will see him starting his 265th GP from the fifth place on the grid (putting him fifth on the list of riders with most GP starts, matching Angel Nieto). Marquez was able to find a good race pace over the day, setting the second-fastest time in FP3, the third-quickest in FP4, and then the sixth-best in qualifying, after getting stuck in traffic during his second flying lap.

2017 MotoGP Mugello qualifying Q2

1 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1’46.575
2 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1’46.814
3 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1’46.835
4 PIRRO Michele 51 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1’46.878
5 PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’46.999
6 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’47.050
7 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team Ducati 1’47.152
8 BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 1’47.167
9 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 1’47.266
10 RABAT Tito 53 SPA Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1’47.282