MISANO ADRIATICO, Italy – Maverick Viñales bested Pol Espargaro Saturday to earn the pole position for Sunday’s MotoGP event at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Viñales used a late fast lap in the qualifying session to steal the pole away from Espargaro, topping the charts with a time of 1:32.265. Espargaro ended the session an impressive second for Red Bull KTM thanks his 1:32.560 time.
“I’m really happy and excited, because we created a really good atmosphere and a really good weekend so far. Of course, we don’t finish until the Sunday, but we’re enjoying the moment because it’s always difficult to be in P1 on the Saturday,” said Viñales. “We’ve worked well for the race, the rhythm is there, we have a great pace in the last laps. We are going to try our best. I’m excited and happy about how it’s all working, the team is putting in a great effort. During the test we worked really hard on the slippery conditions and that’s why we are at the front now. Honestly, since the first day here all the Yamahas have been working well, but somehow we created better grip than the others. There are also other riders that are pretty close, so we will see at the end.
“My objective is to take the lead from the first corner and then push at my maximum. For sure I’ll be going for the victory. This is a good track for me, I have nothing to lose and everything to win. Any result will be good, but we have to feel like we fight for the victory.”
Petronas Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo qualified third to complete the front row. His teammate, Franco Morbidelli, qualified fourth to lead the second row. He was followed by championship Marc Marquez and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.
Marquez looked to be on a pole run late in the session, but an error in turn 11 moments after passing Valentino Rossi cost him a shot at the pole. Marquez and Rossi nearly made contact a few turns later in turn 14, resulting in MotoGP officials requesting an audience with both riders to discuss the incident.