Emilia Romagna MotoGP Qualifying Results | Bagnaia pole from Q1, Quartararo 15th

Pecco Bagnaia takes a spectacular and crucial pole position via Q1 as Fabio Quartararo fails to progress to Q2 in 15th; Jack Miller, Luca Marini front row

Pecco Bagnaia - Ducati Lenovo Team

Pecco Bagnaia has taken a crucial fourth pole position in succession for the Emilia Romagna MotoGP in the most unexpected of circumstances after emerging top of a frantic Q2 session having been forced to claw his way back from a Q1 berth.

On a day that saw many of the anticipated front runners - not least championship leader Fabio Quartararo - come unstuck in the wet conditions of FP3 before struggling with the dry but slick surface of qualifying, Bagnaia kept his cool to give his slim title aspirations a welcome shot in the arm.

Indeed, after two wet practice sessions on Friday, it was hoped FP3 would present a renewed opportunity for riders to improve. However, though it remained damp on Saturday morning, the track was still marginally faster than in FP2 so as to allow improvements that would contribute towards qualifying.

Quartararo was one of several pace setters to struggle in the conditions, finding himself outside the top ten. However, he at least had some esteemed riders for Q1 company, not least title rival Bagnaia, who along with Joan Mir, Brad Binder and Alex Rins, guaranteed a topsy-turvy grid as a result.

Nevertheless, in the dry but wet patched conditions of Q1, only Bagnaia appeared capable of hooking up a quick lap as his rivals either struggled or came down, the Italian surging into Q2 with the fastest time, while Quartararo could only manage third, which then became fifth - thus 15th on the grid - after his final effort was deleted for being set under yellow flags. It is the first time he has qualified off the front row this season.

With the evolving circuit transforming his Q1 disadvantage into a major advantage come Q2, Bagnaia hit the ground running while his rivals tentatively found the limit. Storming to the top of the timesheets on his first lap, the Italian eased it down to a 1m 33.045s lap that would ultimately put him out of reach.

Despite the unusual manner in which it was won, it marks a fourth straight pole position for Bagnaia on a weekend where Quartararo has complained the Yamaha doesn’t feel as sure-footed in the cool, slippery conditions. Even so, Bagnaia still faces a task in the context of the title, needing to out-score Quartararo by at least three points to keep the title battle open to the penultimate round in Portimao.

A landmark day for Ducati, it secured a 1-2-3 front row lockout with Jack Miller just 0.040s shy of his factory team-mate, while third place was assumed by Avintia’s Luca Marini in a shock result for both rider and team. Only the second time he has reached Q2 all season, Marini used his local knowledge to haul the two-year old Ducati up to the front giving the outgoing Spanish team another boost around the circuit Enea Bastianini took a famous podium last month.

A veritable crash fest at times, one that made squeezing in a lap time between yellow flags a lottery, those who emerged unscathed were rewarded with lofty grid slots, with Pol Espargaro quietly getting the job done en route to fourth place, while Miguel Oliveira made a welcome return to form on the factory KTM in fifth.

Reaching Q2 for the first time since switching to the Yamaha Factory team, Franco Morbidelli will start on the outside of row two in sixth, ahead of Marc Marquez, one of five riders from the remaining sextet to crash during Q2 alone.

Iker Lecuona was the man responsible for dumping Quartararo out at the Q1 stage and initially looked capable of benefiting from the extra track time like Bagnaia, only for a fall to consign him to eighth, a third row he will share with Danilo Petrucci, who fell himself moments before his Tech 3 KTM team-mate.

Johann Zarco walked away from a worrying incident late on that pinned his leg under the Pramac Ducati to secure tenth, ahead of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro and Jorge Martin, who starts 12th after falling twice.

Quartararo won’t be the only high-profile rider attempting to muscle their way through the pack on Sunday, with Alex Rins alongside him in 14th, while defending champion Joan Mir suffered a fast crash when the front of the Suzuki folded under braking at Turn 16, leaving him a lowly 19th.

Elsewhere, Brad Binder - a winner in the wet in Austria this year - starts down in 20th, just ahead of Andrea Dovizioso in 21st, while Valentino Rossi’s final Misano qualifying session was a humble affair down in 23rd and slowest given 24th place Lorenzo Savadori was forced to sit out with injury.

2021 Emilia Romagna MotoGP | Misano | Qualifying RESULTS

2021 Emilia Romagna MotoGP | Misano | Qualifying RESULTS | Round 16 / 18
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP211m 33.045
2Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP211m 33.070
3Luca MariniITASky VR46 EsponsoramaDucati GP191m 33.130
4Pol EspargaroESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 33.313
5Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 33.439
6Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 33.526
7Marc MarquezESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 33.850
8Iker LecuonaESPTech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 33.893
9Danilo PetrucciITATech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 34.140
10Johann ZarcoFRAPramac RacingDucati GP211m 34.687
11Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia RS-GP1m 34.963
12Jorge MartinESPPramac RacingDucati GP212m 24.631
13Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 34.411
14Alex RinsESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 34.418
15Alex MarquezESPLCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V1m 34.454
16Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda IdemitsuHonda RC213V1m 34.875
17Maverick VinalesESPAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprila RS-GP1m 35.193
18Enea BastianiniITAAvintia EsponsoramaDucati GP191m 35.236
19Joan MirESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 35.683
20Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 36.478
21Andrea DoviziosoITAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha YZF-M11m 36.639
22Michele PirroITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP211m 37.890
23Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha YZF-M11m 37.948
24Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia RS-GPNo Time