The wetness guessing game was fully underway by the time the premier class took their turn at qualifying, with rain starting to fall at a crucial time in Q1 and making for a tense preparation for Q2. Riders eventually gave into rain rubber for the opening lap, but the experiment was short-lived for most of the field, conditions proving more suitable for slicks. With the track drying steadily, the timing screens were predominantly red throughout Q2 and the battle for pole was mostly between moist master Jack Miller, Q1 leader Marco Bezzecchi and local favourite Enea Bastianini, with brief interruptions from the likes of Pecco Bagnaia and Johann Zarco. In the end it was no surprise that Miller’s bravery secured him pole in the tricky conditions – the first of the season and the first in a good few years.
Bagnaia did his best to limit the damage inflicted by his grid penalty for irresponsible riding and came within one hundredth of a second of pole. With the Italian dropping to fifth, it promotes Bastianini and Bezzecchi to the front row, with Maverick Viñales inheriting fourth. Bagnaia and Zarco will be joining the Spaniard on the second row, with Luca Marini opening the third row after escaping Q1 with an impressive lap, just as the rain intensified, before securing seventh on the grid. Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro will be somewhat disappointed with a third-row start, although the Frenchman was only three tenths of a second off pole.
Miguel Oliveira was the only rider to brave the Q2 conditions on slick tyres straight away but his early advantage evaporated and the KTM man dropped to 10th, sharing fourth row with Franco Morbidelli and Alex Rins. Meanwhile, Jorge Martin missed out on Q2 by one hundredth of a second, after Marini’s late attack, and will be starting on the fifth row, together with Fabio Di Giannantonio and Brad Binder.
|14||49||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Ducati||1:32.276||0.315||0.261|