With so many riders showing fine speed on Saturday morning in Misano, the fight for pole position wasn’t going to be a straightforward affair but in the end it was a familar picture, with Maverick Vinales scoring a second consecutive pole in Misano. The Spaniard further improved the all time lap record to give himself a fighting chance on Sunday but the jury is out on what we’ll see in 24 hours, given his overnight reversal of fortunes of late. Jack Miller had a busy afternoon, escaping Q1 to eventually climb to the front row of the grid, despite having his fair share of cancelled lap times. While both fast and consistent throughout practice, pole evaded Fabio Quartararo by a tenth and a half but the Petronas rider stays on the front row.
The KTMs of Pol Espargaro and Brad Binder sandwich the Ducati of Pecco Bagnaia on the second row. The Italian proved that he had the pace for pole but touching the green at the final corner wiped out his pole-worthy time and dropped him to fifth position. Espargaro’s late exploits pushed Valentino Rossi to the third row of the grid, ahead of compatriots Franco Morbidelli and Danilo Petrucci.
Andrea Dovizioso continues to not enjoy his time in Misano, just about sneaking through Q1 to finish Q2 half a second down on pole and at the bottom of the top ten. The championship leader will start from the fourth row, ahead of an even more disappointed Joan Mir, whose qualifying performance is no match for his impressive rhythm on used rubber. After yet another crash at fast turn 15, Takaaki Nakagami closes row four with less than a handful of laps on the board.
KTM were close to having three men in Q2, with Iker Lecuona demoted at the very last second by Dovizoso and forced to start 13th, one place ahead of Johann Zarco, the Ducati man’s session impacted by a tumble through the gravel. Another man who seems to struggle after an eventful time in practice was Alex Rins, last week’s podium challenger starting only 18th on the grid, behind rookie Alex Marquez.