The final session of the day felt more like coffee after an excellent dessert – not the most exciting thing but gets the job done. And I’m sure Mattia Pasini did not feel that way as he led the charge for the Italian contingent at his home race. The Italtrans veteran nudged the pole record halfway through the session and although it proved too big of a challenge, Pasini did come out on top with a pole position in front of the home crowd.
Despite a late time attack, very few riders were able to improve on the times they set early in the session, only partly due to waiting around for tows. Marcel Schrotter was the early leader of the session but the Dynavolt rider finished second, losing out on pole by only three hundredths of a second. Another favourite for the weekend, Alex Marquez, completed the front row, less than seven hundredths off pole himself.
The gaps got a bit more significant on the second row of the grid, with Pecco Bagnaia still complaining about a painful arm but doing a great job to save fourth place with limited running. Simone Corsi awarded himself a nice gift and will start his 250th grand prix from fifth position. Rookie Romano Fenati overcame a crash in practice to complete the second row of the grid.
If second row was an all-Italian affair, third row got pretty close too, with Luca Marini leading former teammate Lorenzo Baldassarri across the line. Baldassarri had crashed out early in the session and the Pons crew conjured up some magic to fix his bike in time for another try. Joan Mir broke up the Italian brigade from ninth position but the Spaniard would’ve surely expected more after his stellar performance in practice.
Jorge Navarro completed the top ten, with Miguel Oliveira once again giving himself some work to do from eleventh, half a second down on Pasini and just ahead of Xavi Vierge. Sam Lowes was another rider up for a challenge from 14th grid position.
|15||52||Danny KENT||Speed Up||1'52.245||0.670||0.001|
|16||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||Speed Up||1'52.318||0.743||0.073|
|18||89||Khairul Idham PAWI||Kalex||1'52.391||0.816||0.004|
|23||64||Bo BENDSNEYDER||Tech 3||1'52.729||1.154||0.061|
|32||14||Hector GARZO||Tech 3||1'54.720||3.145||0.331|