MotoGP rookie Pecco Bagnaia finished top of the Mugello timesheets on Friday, putting in a blistering sub-17’47s lap to edge out fellow newboy Fabio Quartararo by less than tenth of a second with Danilo Petrucci in third place.
Bagnaia went out with a medium/soft Michelins bolted to his Pramac Ducati for his final Friday push and set a 1’46.732 for top spot. Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo ended 0.046s in arrears, using a hard/medium combination for a 1’46.778.
But it was disaster for Italian hero Valentino Rossi who could only find a 1’47.726 for 18th place while old enemy Jorge Lorenzo was even further back in 20th and four-tenths slower than The Doctor.
At the sharp end, Petrucci was less than a tenth behind Quartararo for third while Pol Espargaro found an astonishing turn of pace to briefly lead the session on a 1’47.966 before being shuffled backwards to fourth.
Maverick Vinales mirrored his satellite Yamaha stablemate to claim fifth with a 1’46.963 and end just in front of reigning champion Marc Marquez.
Where everyone else came in with eight minutes left for a new soft rear, Marquez remained with the tyre he started the session on. The Spaniard set a 1’47.062 on his third lap and then kept on going, setting 13 laps with his last 1.4s slower than his best.
Ecstar Suzuki’s Alex Rins hauled himself into the seventh place with a 1’47.167 to knock Cal Crutchlow back into eighth place.
Jack Miller had been at the business end but a tip off into the gravel with two minutes left denied him any chance to improve and he finished ninth.
Franco Morbidelli was the last of the provisional qualifying two riders in tenth place with championship challenger Andrea Dovizioso putting the works Ducati in 11th and six-tenths off the pace.
Johann Zarco recovered from a fast crash at turn 11 to finish in 12th place ahead of Michele Pirro, Taka Nakagami and Joan Mir.