2019 Mugello MotoGP Qualifying Result: Perfecting The Tango

Mugello felt tense as riders prepared to leave pitlane for Q2, perhaps because of the lap record challenge set by Petrucci in FP3 or the fiery pace of Quartararo in FP4 or the drama all throughout Q1 that saw Dovizioso saved by the skin of his teeth. However, none of those men got to jump into their team’s warm embrace in parc ferme. Reigning world champion and Tissot watch aficionado Marc Marquez hogged almost all the limelight in Q2, only leaving some crumbs for Fabio Quartararo. While all eyes were on Marquez nearly cuddling Dovizioso’s Ducati into Palagio, Quartararo flew to the top of the timesheets, improving the lap record to a high 1:45 on his first outing. After Quartararo’s early masterpiece, the second run was slightly anticlimactic until Marquez opened fire on the final lap and outfoxed Dovizioso into a first class tow that helped him snatch pole position and demolish the previous lap record. Quartararo had enough reason to be proud of his second position, while Danilo Petrucci’s third place just came to confirm Marquez’s theory that flu doesn’t slow you down in the slightest.

Franco Morbidelli opening the second row of the grid just made his team’s smile even wider, the Yamaha man sharing row two with the Ducati of Jack Miller and Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, in quite an even spread of manufacturers on the front two rows. Despite looking quite dandy in the top two at one point, Maverick Viñales dropped to seventh, six tenths off pole. Pecco Bagnaia and Andrea Dovizioso will line up next to the Spaniard on row three, both the losing parties of a session-long tango with Marquez. Takaaki Nakagami, Pol Espargaro and Michele Pirro completed row five, the Ducati wildcard using his detailed knowledge of the track to sneak out of Q1 together with his factory teammate.

The real cautionary tales of Q1 were Alex Rins and Valentino Rossi, who somehow managed to miss an all-important final flying lap. For the Suzuki man that meant he was pushed back from a Q2 position by Dovizioso’s late attack, while Yamaha’s veteran got stuck in an uncomfortable 18th position, one behind Jorge Lorenzo and left with a lot of work to do.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'45.519    
2 20 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 1'45.733 0.214 0.214
3 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'45.881 0.362 0.148
4 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 1'45.959 0.440 0.078
5 43 Jack MILLER Ducati 1'46.029 0.510 0.070
6 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'46.079 0.560 0.050
7 12 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'46.181 0.662 0.102
8 63 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 1'46.260 0.741 0.079
9 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'46.293 0.774 0.033
10 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 1'46.387 0.868 0.094
11 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'46.433 0.914 0.046
12 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'46.638 1.119 0.205
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'46.278    
Q2 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'46.283 0.005 0.005
13 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'46.539 0.261 0.256
14 53 Tito RABAT Ducati 1'46.678 0.400 0.139
15 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'46.899 0.621 0.221
16 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1'47.028 0.750 0.129
17 99 Jorge LORENZO Honda 1'47.135 0.857 0.107
18 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'47.184 0.906 0.049
19 5 Johann ZARCO KTM 1'47.394 1.116 0.210
20 36 Joan MIR Suzuki 1'47.519 1.241 0.125
21 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM 1'48.222 1.944 0.703
22 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 1'48.235 1.957 0.013
23 29 Andrea IANNONE Aprilia 1'48.303 2.025 0.068
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Thanks Zara! Great writing as usual, appreciate the info. Interesting weekend in Italy. We are in the 1:45's! Pol and the KTM into Q2 and on that 146.4 pace is fantastic, not knocking his 11th at ALL. Brilliant. Bagnaia as well. But the brand new SIC Petronas team, running rookies, with a big horsepower/top speed deficit...that is quite the story up there.

The writing is on the wall. I think we will see either a rather sudden upturn in Rossi's performance (doubt it), or an even more sudden change in his demeanor and plans (yep). "Going to the beach is looking interesting," and he has other plans that he sincerely will want to endeavor. It is his nature to work with a threshold breach of distress and displeasure by hopping his "life is full of pleasant options" attention to a better next thing. A very sanguine, Dionysian makeup. Epitomizes Enneagram 7. There will be a threshold reached at which he isn't having so much fun and is sure it isn't forthcoming with this Yamaha. He will focus on the enjoyment of his next big thing. Watch him start to drop mention of future plans with Sky46 and Yamaha. Perhaps mention that he could further help for Yamaha if doing something in addition to riding. Watch him shift towards "Uncle Vale" kind connection with Quartararo (and continue w Morbidelli) rather than approach them with any competitive notions. And it is a very real consideration that Valentino Rossi can and will be of substantial help to the Yamaha project for a long time to come. An Italian response to the previous Spanish infrastructure of talent and resources at Honda. Instead of funding coming from a Repsol, the money follows in directly with him too, and not just when he is racing. A big deal. It is in clear crystal ball view.

Sorry for Rins/Suzuki continuing poor Q. Interested in his race. Watching bikes a lot this weekend for character and performance changes.

Especially watching Petrucci/Miller. More than just a job interview, their whole lives are converging into what they can do on track Sunday. It is that big of a deal. "How far did I get in MotoGP, the full sum of my existence?" I beat that guy, and earned the factory seat. Then I went on to (___), but that hinges upon this winning right now. The Ducati is great here. Dovisioso is on his back foot a bit. Pirro is here as well. All the Ducati brass are on hand, and eager to sign a rider that will take it to Honda and Marc. Following their experience with you know who down you know where (who had the gift to be a top rider but instead will be remembered for seagulls, condoms and shuffling himself off to WSBK) they must be giving team orders to take a bit of care not to make contact with Dovi. They needn't Map 8 that expectation. So much as a raised side of Gigi's seamless eyebrow and it is clear: they are hiring a team player, thank you (look at Dovi and Petrux over winter, vs Imananny getting the boot). But with each other? Miller is a bit wild, very loose. Aggressive. Petrucci can bang bars as well. A very big, physical guy. I expect a good performance from both. And betting for a moment or two around one or both of them, along with whomever else happens to be around. And the person that is around may well be #93, also grabbing lines most riders don't or can't. Marc does plenty of barging through riders, fierce physical battling, and risk taking during last laps. First few laps obviously, but not just there. I see elbows around Miller, Petrux and Marc. Lots of different bikes, lines, egos, lunges, and reactions can converge. Three riders make it exponential (like the much watched Dani arrives inside Dovi and Jorge 3rd round last year). We may see gravel too.

While Jack and Petrucci both respond to outside motivations with more and harder, Dovi does not. The Professor is responding primarily to what is going on internally, and between he and his bike with the track. He is aware of plenty, planning and strategic. He is rather impervious to manipulation or intimidation from other riders. This has been fantastic, including last corner mastery. But not only does he not react to outside pressures, sometimes he seems to struggle just a bit when they confound his plans and focus as he has a broad and thorough awareness. Combine that with a bike that used to struggle deeply with ability to sort and set up for bogey tracks, and we have a 2019 area of need for #04. The bike is changing. Dovi may be too, but it waits to be seen. We get a viewing tomorrow.

Enjoyed the 3 bike Q gamesmanship between Marc and Pirro-Dovi. Pirro pestering led directly to Honda harrying a PERFECT sightline then slipstream tow from Dovi. The kid is really good! Last lap battle please.


5:40 Marc stuffing Dovi is really aggressive stuff for Q, like maybe getting a talking to aggressive. At 7:20 you don't get to see any of the shaking Pirro the picnic fly off, but do get Marc hooking into Dovi for the lap record half a second under what we thought we would see today.

it’s no accident that Marquez gets race and qualifying strategy correct so often. 

Ducati tried to throw the wolves at him and he comes back to tear a piece of flesh from Ducati’s top dogs as a result. 

Love him or hate him, he is a master at work in all respects on and off the track. Once in a generation...


Its a fine line they tread,but Dovi was cruising relative to MM.It was almost like he was about to sit up and MM made a decision to pass there and then.The gap was there and MM took it.There is probably only one other person on the grid who is quite as ruthess as MM and we know that 99 is not there yet.

Kiwi, greetings mate. It was clean and I enjoyed it. Race passes aren't the norm in Q though. He started hounding the Duc's today. His record breaking one looked like a race last lap. No complaints here mind you, but noting the aggression. It was lovely! And, Marquez is not within his usual modus operandi. ANYTHING is possible tomorrow from him. A measured 9.5 tenths ride to 3rd? Sure. A paint swapping fight to the last to win? Of course. Getting swept up by a collision after rattling the fairings of several loose cannons dicing? Could be. Crashing out in heated chase of any number of riders after an error dropping him back a few places? Maybe. Last lap, last corner clash leaving two people tumbling? It could happen.

Lots of hungry riders out there. And it will be very hot, changing the tire situation. Might get greasy.

Agreed re Marquez and ruthless. Disagree on Jorge though, and see him as the Polite Era head nag. Ruthless by himself out front. Flinching, shaking his head and complaining when swapping paint.

Cal, Miller, and Vale all seem more cuthroat than Jorge to me. Maybe Iannone too, when he used to be relevant.

Edit - you are absolutely right re the Marquez Q pass inside Dovi. My 1st viewing was on my wee phone screen. Rewatched on the tv, it wasn't dicey.

(Not my one * btw, I gave *s up a while back)
Enjoy the race tomorrow friend!