2021 Emilia-Romagna MotoGP Qualifying Result: Quite A Turnaround

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.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'33.045    
2 43 Jack Miller Ducati 1'33.070 0.025 0.025
3 10 Luca Marini Ducati 1'33.130 0.085 0.060
4 44 Pol Espargaro Honda 1'33.313 0.268 0.183
5 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'33.439 0.394 0.126
6 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'33.526 0.481 0.087
7 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'33.850 0.805 0.324
8 27 Iker Lecuona KTM 1'33.893 0.848 0.043
9 9 Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'34.140 1.095 0.247
10 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1'34.687 1.642 0.547
11 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'34.963 1.918 0.276
12 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 2'24.631 51.586 49.668
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'33.393    
Q2 27 Iker Lecuona KTM 1'34.099 0.706 0.706
13 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'34.418 1.025 0.319
14 73 Alex Marquez Honda 1'34.454 1.061 0.036
15 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'34.476 1.083 0.022
16 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'35.236 1.843 0.760
17 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'35.641 2.248 0.405
18 36 Joan Mir Suzuki 1'35.683 2.290 0.042
19 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia 1'35.835 2.442 0.152
20 33 Brad Binder KTM 1'36.478 3.085 0.643
21 4 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 1'36.639 3.246 0.161
22 51 Michele Pirro Ducati 1'37.880 4.487 1.241
23 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'38.261 4.868 0.381
  32 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia      
Round Number: 
16
2021
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Comments

Sheezus! Look at the talent pool from 15th to the back of the grid. Make you blink and clean your eyeglasses?

Enjoying Pecco. Keep your head on straight Fabio! You've got this buddy.

Watching Sunday Miller looked to be overriding such that it didn't surprise me. Marc piled pressure on. Pecco did surprise. But the F tire choice didn't look smart from before the start. It is hard to tell wisdom from judgment sometimes. Having already decided that Jack has zenithed colors my awareness. But then again, nothing he is doing seems to be changing the decision. 

Script flipped indeed! Unless The Marc's fitness just flipped it back again? Gets on the revolution Honda and takes off? Are you convinced? I worry about the Yamaha sitting still more than Marc's fitness!