Ducati MotoGP rider Francesco Bagnaia broke the MotoGP Misano lap record en route to pole position for the San Marino Grand Prix, as points leader Fabio Quartararo crashed.
Quartararo held a clear lead after the opening runs, but was deposed by the two factory Ducatis of Bagnaia and Miller ahead of his final lap – with Bagnaia recording a 1m31.065s to become the lap record holder.
Quartararo then immediately slid off at Turn 1, resigning himself to third place – with Pramac duo Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco making it four Ducatis in the top five.
Marc Marquez, who was resigned to contesting Q1 after a fall in FP3, narrowly made it through the first segment and followed Miller to record a solid banker lap on the opening run of the pole shoot-out.
Yet having picked Bagnaia as his reference the second time by, Marquez crashed at Turn 9 while trying to follow the Desmosedici, and ended up seventh in the session, one place behind fellow Honda rider Pol Espargaro.
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) September 18, 2021
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) crashed while following Bagnaia but was still a couple of tenth up on new squadmate Maverick Vinales, with the pair split by Suzuki’s Alex Rins.
The other Suzuki, that of reigning champion Joan Mir, had a troubled session and wound up 11th.
Avintia Ducati rookie Enea Bastianini, who had topped Q1 but then fell on the in-lap, completed the Q2 order, but did have a time good enough for 10th deleted for track limits.
LCR Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami was quickest of those eliminated in Q1, having tumbled at the Turn 9 right-hander when on course to post a Q2-worthy time.
KTM’s Brad Binder fell just moments prior, while chasing a trio of Hondas – with wildcard Stefan Bradl towing along Marquez and young brother Alex Marquez (LCR Honda) – through Turn 2. Despite this, he was the quickest of the four KTMs in 17th, with he and Nakagami split by Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro, VR46 Ducati rider Luca Marini and new factory Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli.
Valentino Rossi, who already had a crash earlier on Saturday in practice, had his Yamaha slip away from under him while tipping into the fast Turn 15 left-hander.
A huge blow for @ValeYellow46's Q2 hopes! 😲
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) September 18, 2021
Rossi ultimately returned before the chequered flag, but could only outpace one rider – his new Petronas Yamaha team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, 0.131s off Rossi and 1.222s off Q1 pace-setter Bastianini in the first qualifying of his MotoGP comeback.
|Pos||Name||Team||Bike||Group 1||Group 2|
|1||Francesco Bagnaia||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||1m32.065s|
|2||Jack Miller||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||1m31.314s|
|3||Fabio Quartararo||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1m31.367s|
|4||Jorge Martin||Pramac Racing||Ducati||1m31.663s|
|5||Johann Zarco||Pramac Racing||Ducati||1m31.836s|
|6||Pol Espargaró||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1m31.923s|
|7||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1m32.029s||1m31.935s|
|8||Aleix Espargaró||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1m31.397s|
|9||Alex Rins||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1m32.017s|
|10||Maverick Viñales||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1m32.121s|
|11||Joan Mir||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1m32.426s|
|12||Enea Bastianini||Avintia Esponsorama Racing||Ducati||1m31.876s||1m32.461s|
|13||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||1m32.21s|
|14||Michele Pirro||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||1m32.287s|
|15||Luca Marini||SKY VR46 Avintia Team||Ducati||1m32.289s|
|16||Franco Morbidelli||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||1m32.296s|
|17||Brad Binder||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1m32.427s|
|18||Stefan Bradl||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1m32.439s|
|19||Alex Marquez||LCR Honda Castrol||Honda||1m32.476s|
|20||Iker Lecuona||Tech3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1m32.481s|
|21||Miguel Oliveira||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1m32.821s|
|22||Danilo Petrucci||Tech3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1m32.891s|
|23||Valentino Rossi||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||1m32.967s|
|24||Andrea Dovizioso||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||1m33.098s|