2019 Misano MotoGP Qualifying Result: Predictable, Yet Exciting

Yamaha came into qualifying in Misano with great expectations after their display all throughout practice and Marc Marquez’s prediction for pole came to fruition when Maverick Viñales timed it to perfection to snatch his first pole position since the first race of the year. It looked like a hat-trick for the Japanese squad for a while but then Pol Espargaro popped up on the back of Fabio Quartararo on a hot lap and brought home his first front row start for KTM. It even looked like pole for a short while, but second will do, splitting the Yamahas on the first row. Quartararo started the session as favourite by posting the fastest time of the weekend on his first flying lap, despite one of the by-now-usual wobbles on board of his Yamaha. However, the Frenchman could not improve on his final run despite several red hot sectors and made do with third.

Teammate Franco Morbidelli continued to improve throughout the weekend and overcame a huge rear tyre slide on what looked like a pole lap to settle for fourth. Meanwhile, Marquez lost a couple of laps keen to ward off rivals from a tow but that didn’t stop him from attempting a classic two-stop strategy. The plan did not seem to work as well as normal, as the Spaniard got demoted from the front row and found himself once again behind Valentino Rossi for their final flying laps. Neither rider wanted to show the other around and once they decided to get a move on, they got in each other’s way up until the checkered flag. The cat and mouse game left Marquez with his worst, well, “worst”, qualifying of the season in fifth, while Rossi lost a place to Andrea Dovizioso, the Ducati finding some pace to climb to sixth.

Rossi opens row three, ahead of the miracle worker of Q1, Johann Zarco, who put both KTMs in Q2 and ahead of the top Suzuki. Alex Rins will be disappointed with ninth after a fairly decent showing on Saturday morning practice, while teammate Joan Mir impressed on his return from injury by getting through Q1 and qualifying 10th, only one place behind Rins. Takaaki Nakagami and Michele Pirro complete the fourth row, over a second slower than the poleman.

Having a glance back at Q1, there were quite a few unusual victims there, Cal Crutchlow banished to 14th grid spot, Jack Miller down in 16th and Danilo Petrucci with his worst qualifying of the year in 17th. The two Ducatis will be joined on row six by Jorge Lorenzo.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 12 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'32.265    
2 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'32.560 0.295 0.295
3 20 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 1'32.571 0.306 0.011
4 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 1'32.710 0.445 0.139
5 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'32.742 0.477 0.032
6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'33.038 0.773 0.296
7 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'33.079 0.814 0.041
8 5 Johann ZARCO KTM 1'33.123 0.858 0.044
9 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'33.265 1.000 0.142
10 36 Joan MIR Suzuki 1'33.431 1.166 0.166
11 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 1'33.449 1.184 0.018
12 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'33.461 1.196 0.012
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 5 Johann ZARCO KTM 1'33.147    
Q2 36 Joan MIR Suzuki 1'33.485 0.338 0.338
13 63 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 1'33.488 0.341 0.003
14 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'33.516 0.369 0.028
15 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'33.522 0.375 0.006
16 43 Jack MILLER Ducati 1'33.571 0.424 0.049
17 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'33.630 0.483 0.059
18 99 Jorge LORENZO Honda 1'33.777 0.630 0.147
19 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 1'34.162 1.015 0.385
20 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM 1'34.322 1.175 0.160
21 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1'34.401 1.254 0.079
22 53 Tito RABAT Ducati 1'34.904 1.757 0.503
  29 Andrea IANNONE Aprilia      
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Strange to see no mention of MM and VR trying hard to put themselves in hospital? Rossi was marginally holding Marquez up, who then lunged up the inside of Rossi and ran "off track", past the timing markers. But he held the line, so really holding Rossi up. Rossi then ran from inside across the front of Marquez at the next turn. In an outright dangerous manoevere.

As neither of them seemed to want to make a fuss about it, neither should anyone else.

It isn’t anyone’s responsibility to dutifully tow Marquez to the front row or pole. I struggled to see “dangerous” in either of their maneuvers. Rossi failed to cooperate with his strategy, and the two were running so close that fireworks were inevitable. This has happened a half dozen times in qualifying this year with Marc and various other riders, and he knows the risks involved in the strategy. It sure seemed clear that Steve and Matt in the commentary booth are part of the MM fan club from their angry reactions. Too bad my Roku app doesn’t let me nuke the commentary track like I can on the computer - the two of them have really become too partisan this season.

Well done Pol Espargaro & KTM, that's awesome! Keep working, great to see the RC16 project making gains. Never give up.

V.R.46 & M.M.93 Handbags episode 13 season six. Not so impressive in my opinion. Not what I am looking for in the higest level of the greatest sport on this planet.

Thanks again Zara, good work.