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25 days ago

The rookies make their mark at Mugello

All of the key statistics ahead of Sunday’s Italian GP, including the 14-year first at the front of the grid

There was plenty of emotion at the end of qualifying for the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, after Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) broke through for his first MotoGP™ pole position. If Di Giannantonio had not got the job done, it would have instead been fellow rookie – and fellow Italian – opening his pole account in the premier class. On a huge day for the fans at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Italians locked out the front row, riding for Italian teams, as Bologna bullets swept the top five in Q2. An exhilarating race is on the cards, so why not check out some other key facts ahead of lights out?

1. Rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio has qualified on pole position for the first time in MotoGP™, becoming the sixth different polesitter since the opening race of the season in Qatar, which is already as many as last year.

2. Di Giannantonio became the fifth rider to qualify on pole after passing through Q1 since 2013, when the current qualifying format was introduced. The others are Jorge Martin (Austria 2021 and Americas 2022), Marc Marquez (Thailand 2018), Maverick Viñales (Valencia 2018) and Francesco Bagnaia (Emilia-Romagna 2021).

3. Di Giannantonio and Marco Bezzecchi make for the first qualifying one-two featuring two rookies since Qatar 2008, when Jorge Lorenzo took pole ahead of James Toseland.

MotoGP™ recap: Bellisimo! Di Giannantonio shocks Mugello

4. This is the first time that Italian riders have locked out the front row in MotoGP™ since Austria in 2016, when it was Andrea Iannone, Valentino Rossi, and Andrea Dovizioso.

5. On pole last time out in France, Francesco Bagnaia has qualified fifth, making it five Ducatis within the top five for the second time so far this year, along with Austin.

6. Winner last year in Mugello from pole, Fabio Quartararo has qualified in sixth, equalling his second-worst qualifying of the season from Argentina and Austin (when he was also the first non-Ducati rider in qualifying).

7. Aleix Espargaro has qualified seventh, which is the fourth time so far this year he failed to qualify within the top three. He will be aiming to give Aprilia podiums in four successive premier class races for the first time.

Watch Fabio Di Giannantonio's stunning pole lap from Mugello

8. Takaaki Nakagami has qualified eighth as the top Honda. This is only the second time so far this year that he has qualified within the top eight, along with Spain when he finished the race in seventh.

9. Marc Marquez was in Q1 for the fourth time at Mugello, and made it the third time he has also gone on to join Q2. He qualified 12th (but starts from 11th following Jorge Martin’s penalty) after a crash at the beginning of Q2, which is his second worst qualifying result in MotoGP™ at the track after 2015, when he was 13th.

10. Jack Miller has qualified 13th (although he starts from 12th following Martin’s penalty) for his worst qualifying result since he was 14th at the 2020 Teruel GP (although he started from 14th in Argentina this year following a grid penalty after he qualified 11th).

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