2018 Misano MotoGP Qualifying Result: You Break It, You Keep It

Generous sunshine graced the Riviera as the premier class was preparing to qualify for the scenic Grand Prix of not quite San Marino. And what we lacked in weather drama, they made up for otherwise. Marc Marquez shot out the gates as soon as the green flag waved and set the reference lap time on lap one with the fastest time of the weekend. His feat did not last long, Jorge Lorenzo crossing the line barely a second after and improving on his own pole record by one tenth of a second, writing the likely plotline of the session.

Both Spaniards got the same idea and went for a 2-stop strategy, with Marquez having three tenths to find on Lorenzo, while the rest of the chasers were over half a second off provisional pole. The Repsol Honda man was pushing so hard on his second run that he slipped out in the final sector, having to re-enact a motorised version of his COTA run to grab his second bike for a final attack with three minutes left on the clock. After running through the gates like a commuter at peak times, the world champion started off with a red hot sector but a couple of moments and a big save later, Marquez had to let his pole hopes go.

Marquez might have stolen Lorenzo’s TV thunder but the Ducati man did not rest on his laurels and calmly shaved another tenth off his benchmark on the final lap to seal the deal for a dominating pole, three tenths of a second ahead of his colleague. The likely Ducati 1-2 did happen, just not the Ducati you’d expect in second position, Jack Miller’s fine timing seeing him secure a worthy front row start. Maverick Viñales brought Yamaha to the fore once again, breaking the Ducati monopoly at the very last moment by demoting Andrea Dovizioso to the second row of the grid.

On a second row with barely two hundredths of a second to pick between them, Dovizioso ended up leading an animated Honda duo of Marquez and Cal Crutchlow – the British rider adding another RC213V to the gravel trap late in the session. Valentino Rossi missed out on row two by a mere three thousandths of a second and will start just behind his rivals from seventh position, in the company of Danilo Petrucci and Johann Zarco.

Alex Rins opens row four, ahead of Q1 escapees Dani Pedrosa and Franco Morbidelli. The Italian did not post a time in the session but his two colleagues were only seven tenths off pole despite their lowly positions. The unlucky men of Q1 were Andrea Iannone, who will start 13th, ahead of Michele Pirro and Alvaro Bautista.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati 1'31.629    
2 43 Jack MILLER Ducati 1'31.916 0.287 0.287
3 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'31.950 0.321 0.034
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'32.003 0.374 0.053
5 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'32.016 0.387 0.013
6 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'32.025 0.396 0.009
7 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'32.028 0.399 0.003
8 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'32.136 0.507 0.108
9 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha 1'32.250 0.621 0.114
10 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'32.338 0.709 0.088
11 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'32.369 0.740 0.031
12 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Honda      
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'32.389    
Q2 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 1'32.454 0.065 0.065
13 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 1'32.566 0.177 0.112
14 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'32.624 0.235 0.058
15 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 1'32.792 0.403 0.168
16 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'33.084 0.695 0.292
17 38 Bradley SMITH KTM 1'33.085 0.696 0.001
18 6 Stefan BRADL Honda 1'33.361 0.972 0.276
19 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 1'33.437 1.048 0.076
20 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'33.502 1.113 0.065
21 45 Scott REDDING Aprilia 1'33.572 1.183 0.070
22 10 Xavier SIMEON Ducati 1'33.705 1.316 0.133
23 12 Thomas LUTHI Honda 1'33.755 1.366 0.050
24 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1'33.812 1.423 0.057
25 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 1'34.080 1.691 0.268
26 23 Christophe PONSSON Ducati 1'37.180 4.791 3.100
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In ducati i mean...  I never thought to see such a drastic change after such a long hellish 2017  season, but to see Lorenzo break his own record on his first hot lap was something. Oh boy... I cannot even begin to imagine what must be going on behind closed doors in Ducati headquarters...  I still think that Lorenzo made a huge mistake to leave.  I cannot predict the future but he would have been a title contender from the very beginning. And as much as I appreciate Dovi I see him more likely outside the podium in most races in 2019 fighting with a newfound Vinales an always strong Marquez  and maybe Lorenzo and Cal and even Morbidelli on a well sorted Yamaha....

Small regret: we almost had 3 Ducati at the front!  But even if we had had a historic "tripletta" the image of the day is definitely Marquez  unbelievable moment between the crash and him jumping on the second bike... Even if you watch it in slow motion the action is still fast. Amazing.

Another interesting image: a happy Vinales! Starting at the front... Will he deliver?  Probably not. Lorenzo is too fast. He'll be at the front at the first corner and do what he used to do best : lead from the first to the last corner. 

Happy race to everyone

might not even have a ride in MotoGP in 2019, with the Ducati CEO implying he certainly would not be back on a Ducati GP19?  One in the hand is worth two in the bush, so without a functioning crystal ball, JL99 made the correct decision to sign for what has been (in terms of average results) the best team over the last quarter-century.

Ducati headquarter's question is how do we explain this fiasco to Wolfsburg?

It was Ducati that made the huge mistake in not renewing his contract, leaving him with no option but to go elsewhere.  He has stated in interviews that he would have liked to have remained at Ducati.

Great qualifying for Jorge & Jack. Maverick has his mojo back. All the portents suggest a good close race. It will be interesting to see how M.M. 93 chooses to ride. Like his run after his latest crash, it will probably be flat out! Marc does have a chip lead to defend, we have seen how challenging it is to match the pace of the Ducatis. It would make sense but i don't expect Marc Marquez to ride sensibly & settle for some solid points. We'll see.

The moustachios of Jorge & Mav are something else

GREAT catch for yamaha in grabbing jonas for test rider.