With the majority of riders separated by the smallest of margins, PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Franco Morbidelli ended qualifying at Mugello in tenth. Team-mate Valentino Rossi will start tomorrow’s ItalianGP from 19th.
Morbidelli didn't immediately improve upon his FP2 time, but when he did his 1min 45.865secs time put him second momentarily. The Italian was unable to better this time in the closing moments, but it was enough to secure him tenth and a place directly in Q2. Franco was quick to head out once the green flag was waved for qualifying and posted the seventh fastest lap, before dropping down to tenth at the end of the first run. At the end of the session Morbidelli was able to improve his time to 1min 46.084secs, however this did not see him gain any places and he will line up tenth on the grid tomorrow.
Team-mate Rossi, who revealed his special Mugello helmet ahead of FP3, had a more difficult time in the session, although he was able to improve his lap time around the circuit. After posting the 18th fastest lap – 1min 46.358secs – the Italian headed to Q1. Valentino headed straight out and was immediately onto a personal best time in the first sector, unfortunately the lap had to be cancelled due to exceeding track limits. Rossi was able to improve upon his time on his final flying lap to 1min 46.770secs, which put him ninth in Q1 and will see him start tomorrow’s race 19th.
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT would like to send their best wishes to Jason Dupasquier and we hope that he is okay.
Tomorrow’s Warm Up session for Morbidelli and Rossi will commence at 9.40am local time (3.40pm MYT), before the ItalianGP comes to a close with the 23-lap MotoGP race at 2pm local time (8pm MYT).