Although Misano was still cold and gloomy, the rain stayed away and the asphalt continued to dry throughout qualifying for the premier class. True to FP4 form, Pecco Bagnaia was one step ahead from the start and used his track knowledge from Q1 to lead the way early in Q2, ahead of his fellow Q1 escapee Iker Lecuona. The one second gap between the two allowed several riders to sneak in between in the closing stages, but no one could cope with Bagnaia’s speed and the home favourite secured a fourth consecutive pole position. Teammate Jack Miller closed the gap to two hundredths of a second to claim second on the grid, while an exceptional last lap from Luca Marini made it a Ducati front row lock-out, the rookie taking his first front row start.
Pol Espargaro also found some pace to lead Honda’s charge from fourth on the grid, ahead of the lead KTM of Miguel Oliveira and the sole Yamaha in Q2, Franco Morbidelli. Marc Marquez was back to his old antics, offering some material for the highlights reel as his Honda tried to shake him off at turn 2 but the Spaniard’s acrobatics kept him onboard, and he steadily climbed up the timesheets. His progress was halted by a late crash at turn 6 and it pushed Marquez back to the top of third row. Lecuona and teammate Danilo Petrucci were also amongst the several riders keeping the marshals busy late in Q2 and will keep Marquez company on row three. Johann Zarco’s own late tumble at turn 14 left him 10th on the grid, sharing fourth row with a lowkey Aleix Espargaro and teammate Jorge Martin, who added two more tumbles to his portfolio in Q2.
If Q2 was dramatic, there was an even bigger storyline in Q1, where Bagnaia ruled the roost while title rival Fabio Quartararo scored his worst qualifying result in the premier class. Although the Frenchman would’ve been relived to start Q1 on slick tyres, given his underwhelming performance in the wet, a combination of bad timing and missing a few tenths dropped him out of contention for Q2. To make matters worse, a yellow flag infringement cancelled his fastest lap, dropping him to 15th on the grid, behind Alex Rins and Alex Marquez. It was an afternoon to forget for Enea Bastianini and Joan Mir as well, both riders crashing out once again in Q1 and starting 16th and 18th on the grid.