Q1 at the Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley looks set to be an all-out brawl with Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati), Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team), Alex Rins (Ecstar Suzuki Team), Michele Pirro (Mission Winnow Ducati) and Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) all forced to fight for the top two spots and a place in Q2 later after missing out on a place in FP3's top ten.
Meanwhile, Mission Winnow Ducati's Danilo Petrucci topped the session after setting the fastest ever lap of the Autodromo Internacional del Mugello thanks to 1:46.056, over a tenth of a second clear of Rossi’s previous best from twelve months ago.
The Italian jumped to the top of the timesheets with five minutes remaining and it was a real statement of intent towards the rest of the field. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro continued his superlative start to the weekend at Mugello by closing the combined Free Practice sessions as second quickest, two tenths of a second behind the factory Ducati man – a best ever Free Practice result in dry conditions for the Austrian factory.
After languishing down the timesheets, mainly due to getting held up on one of his faster laps, Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez eventually found some form to move third quickest and within a quarter of a second of the fastest man.
A tenth further back was LCR Honda Idemitsu’s Takaaki Nakagami, with the Japanese rider slipping back to fourth overall after sitting pretty at the top of the timesheets with twenty minutes of FP3 remaining.
Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller was the second of the Ducatis in fifth overall after moving up from outside of the top ten with his penultimate lap of the session. The Australian ended 0.010 of a second ahead of Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT), who ended as the top Yamaha rider.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales will move straight to Q2 after finishing seventh overall just ahead of Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), who managed to hold on a top ten place despite crashing out in the closing stages of the session.
Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) clinched ninth with his final lap of the session, to make sure three Yamahas moved through to Q2. Yesterday’s fastest man Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) only just made it to Q2 direct, after his penultimate lap saw him knock out his factory counterpart, Andrea Dovizioso, by 0.029 of a second.
Desmo Dovi will fight it out with Lorenzo and Rossi, after The Doctor ran into the gravel trap at the final corner on what was set to be his fastest lap of the session. Americas GP winner Rins also joins the Q1 scrap after a crash in the early session meant the factory Suzuki man failed to improve on yesterday’s lap time.
With a plethora of MotoGP™ stars all fighting for just two places in Q1, it is definitely not to be missed. The fight for pole position at Mugello gets underway at 14:10 (GMT+2).
Combined top 10:
1. Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) 1’46.056
2. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.207
3. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) +0.224
4. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU) +0.400
5. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +0.422
6. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) +0.432
7. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) +0.453
8. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL) +0.460
9. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) 0.462
10. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) 0.657
Click here for full results!