Di Giannantonio lands shocking first MotoGP pole at Mugello

Rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio took an incredible Mugello MotoGP pole on the Ducati of Gresini, after a crazy wet session punctuated by a brutal crash for Marc Marquez.

It’s a 1-2 on the grid for rookies on Ducatis 2021, with VR46 rider Marco Bezzecchi second behind Di Giannantonio and teammate Luca Marini, making it two VR46 bikes on a crazy front row in the first Grand Prix of Italy from MotoGP since team boss Valentino Rossi’s retirement.

Qualifying had started wet, largely dried up, then got wetter amid lightning during the break between Q1 and Q2.

With everyone still going on slicks, Marquez only reached turn two on his exit lap before having a ferocious high-side that unfolded in a strangely confined space.

Marquez and his Honda both landed heavily on the asphalt, with the crashed motorcycle catching fire and triggering a long red flag.

Heavier rain held up during this time, but the track remained tricky when Q2 finally went smoothly with everyone using slicks again.

Di Giannantonio had already been a surprising trailblazer in Q1 and then was the man to beat for most of Q2.

It looked like normal serve could resume when he was pushed back to eighth place late, but he bounced back to first place not once but twice.

His final lap of 1m46.156s beat Bezzecchi by 0.088s. It was only the second time Di Giannantonio had reached Q2, with 11th being his previous record in MotoGP qualifying.

Behind the VR46 bikes of Bezzecchi and Marini, Johann Zarco and Francesco Bagnaia completed an all-Ducati top five.

Fabio Quartararo was the best of the rest for Yamaha in sixth, with the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro and the Hondas of Takaaki Nakagami and Pol Espargaro in third.

Gresini’s usual hero, Enea Bastianini, was only 10th this time ahead of Jorge Martin.

Marquez limited his run in Q2 after his huge crash, only taking 12th place on his spare bike.

Q1 had started with everyone on wet tyres, but when Brad Binder threw on slicks and went three seconds faster than the rest, it caused a mad dash for dry tyres.

With the skies still extremely dark and rain falling on parts of the track, there was a period when it appeared Binder had timed his race perfectly before conditions deteriorated again.

It turned out that everyone managed to make clear – albeit risky – laps on slicks until the checkered flag.

Jack Miller was knocked out of the Q2 transfer places by Di Giannantonio and Marquez as they towed behind his Ducati, leaving him 13th on the grid.

Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro lined up just behind him, while Binder finished 16th behind KTM teammate Miguel Oliveira.

Suzuki came out worst of all: Joan Mir and Alex Rins never seemed to get into the top two in Q1 and will start in 17th and 21st.

Franco Morbidelli is only 23rd on the second factory Yamaha, with Maverick Vinales’ Aprilia alongside him.

Qualifying results

Pos Last name Crew Bike

Group 1

Group 2

1 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing Moto GP Ducati 1m47.219s 1m45.156s
2 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1m46.244s
3 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1m46.327s
4 John Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 1m46.383s
5 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m46.471s
6 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m46.506s
seven Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m46.507s
8 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1m46.561s
9 Pol Espargaro Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m46.667s
ten Enea Bastianini Gresini Racing Moto GP Ducati 1m46.679s
11 jorge martin Pramac Racing Ducati 1m47.223s
12 Mark Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m47.294s 1m47.468s
13 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m47.621s
14 Michele Pirro Austrian Junior Cup Ducati 1m48.209s
15 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Race KTM 1m48.231s
16 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Race KTM 1m48.255s
17 Joan Mir The SUZUKI ECSTAR team Suzuki 1m48.732s
18 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 1m48.846s
19 Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM Factory Race KTM 1m48.907s
20 Darryn Binder With U Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1m49.471s
21 Alex Rins The SUZUKI ECSTAR team Suzuki 1m50.266s
22 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m50.27s
23 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m55.369s
24 Maverick Vinales Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m56.479s
25 Raul Fernandez Tech3 KTM Factory Race KTM 1m57.106s
26 Andrea Dovizioso With U Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1m57.671s

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