06/01/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/01/2019 05:08
The current era in MotoGP™ is throwing up surprises every weekend and ahead of qualifying for the premier class, five riders - including one rookie - are looking set to challenge for their first pole position. Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) topped the FP3 session with the fastever ever lap of Mugello and looks primed for a strong qualifying, seeking his first MotoGP™ pole position.
However, Petrux looks set to have a fight on his hands in the vital Q2 later on as he is joined by Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), who last achieved a front row start at Phillip Island, back in 2016, when he was third. His best starting position with KTM is fifth, achieved at COTA this season, highlighting the progress both he and the bike have made.
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU) was sat at the top of the timesheets for a period of time during FP3 before ending fourth overall. The Japanese star goes into Q2 off the back of two personal best qualifying results, with eighth at Jerez followed up by seventh at Le Mans. Franco Morbidelli is another rider who will be gunning for his first pole in MotoGP™, with top ten qualifying results all season so far - a best of second at Jerez, losing out to rookie teammate Fabio Quartararo, who will also be contesting for a second career premier class pole.
There's another MotoGP™ rookie in the mix too, with Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) eager to impress on home soil as he pursues a best qualifying result, which currently stands at tenth at Jerez. Should he get pole, he will be the first rookie to achieve it at Mugello since Tetsuya Harada for Aprilia in 1999, coincidentally Aprilia's first premier class pole.
Q2 gets started at 14:35 (GMT+2) live from Mugello, so do not miss it as the young guns look to dethrone the established elite.