MotoGP Misano #2: Marini masterclass continues with pole and lap record| Christina Bulpett | MotoGP
Local heroes Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi continued the battle for home honours with incredible pace as the two SKY VR46 riders qualified with a one-two, separated by just 0.036, as last-weekend’s race winner claimed pole position and yet another lap record ahead of the second Misano outing, Petronas’ Xavi Vierge taking third.
Sam Lowes continued to improve his pace to head the second row while Jake Dixon’s impressive comeback will see him line up directly behind, in seventh, after the entire top-14 completed times faster than last Saturday’s best.
The final qualifying of the Misano weekend got underway this afternoon with Lorenzo Dalla Porta, Fabio Di Giannantonio, Mattia Pasini and Hector Garzo fighting their way through to Q2 after securing the final four spots in the opening 15-minutes of Moto2 competition.
As the final shootout began, the SKY riders instantly made their mark with both compatriots again well under the lap record on only their third laps of the 4.2km circuit, Marini outshining Bezzecchi with an incredible 1’35.271. Last week’s pole-sitter, Lowes, was a mere 0.4 off in third at the halfway stage closely followed by Enea Bastianini, Aron Canet and a vastly revitalised Dixon.
The final two minutes saw Vierge stake his claim on the top-three moments before finding the gravel at turn one, as Lowes and Bezzecchi also looked to improve on their times. Despite repeatedly setting personal bests through sectors one to three, the Brit unfortunately had to settle for fourth after losing out in the final sector on both of his final laps, while the Italian improved but could not better his teammate for the pole.
Maintaining his seventh place in the standings, Dixon will line up on the third row of Sunday’s grid ahead of Di Giannantonio and Jorge Navarro, Nicolò Bulega, Marcel Schrotter and Augusto Fernandez, after a turn five crash, on row four. Tetsuta Nagashima, Passini, Garzo, Thomas Luthi, Dalla Porta and a disheartened Joe Roberts complete the top-18.