Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Franco Morbidelli pushed hard at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli this afternoon, earning himself a sixth place starting position for tomorrow’s Gran Premio del Made in Italy e dell'Emilia-Romagna. The second-row start is his first top-12 placement since his return from injury. Fabio Quartararo was on route in Q1 to secure a spot in Q2 but just missed out. He will start from 15th on the grid.
Morbidelli’s hard work on Day 1 and this morning earned him a place in Q2. Following another solid performance in FP4, he was motivated to get some hot laps in despite the somewhat chilly conditions. He started his charge with a 1’39.244s whilst discovering where he could push on the half-wet, half-dry track. His second attempt was a 1’35.060s that moved him up to fourth place before he entered pit lane with seven minutes remaining.
The Italian resumed his challenge two and a half minutes later. He had dropped to ninth and was keen to start pushing as soon as his fresh slicks had heat in them. However, yellow flags caused his next flying lap to be cancelled. But the cool-headed Yamaha man dug deep and set a 1’33.526s on his last lap to take sixth on the grid, 0.481s from first.
Unable to secure a top-10 placement in this morning’s FP3, Quartararo had to take part in Q1. He had used FP4 to the fullest to get a good sense of the track in drying but still damp conditions and decided to let the majority of the riders head out of pit lane ahead of him for the 15-minute shoot-out. His 1’37.593s benchmark lap temporarily put him in first place. But with track conditions improving, he couldn’t relax for a second.
El Diablo was fighting determinedly, moving back up into the top 2 with almost every lap he posted. Not having to come in to change tyres, he was able to keep pushing for the duration of the session until he had to roll out on his sixth attempt due to yellow flags. With over two minutes remaining, there was time for two more tries. He used the first one to bring heat back into the tyres before he attacked, but with yellow flags out again, his 1’34.411s last lap was cancelled. Quartararo ended Q1 in fifth place with a 1’34.476s, 1.083s from first, and will start tomorrow’s race from P15.