Celestino Vietti used his track knowledge to his advantage to pull out the first sub 1m 36s time of the weekend and secure pole position at home for the San Marino Grand Prix, round fourteen of the championship.

The Mooney VR46 Racing Team rider started on the front foot for a change and topped FP1, with that time remaining on top after Friday’s action concluded. He started qualifying with the same energy and set the first benchmark lap.

Exuding confidence, the Italian stayed out on track, improving all the while for a final time of 1m 35.990s.


Vietti went on to fall on his final lap as he chased and caught Pedro Acosta, but his time was strong enough to hold on for pole, with few late challengers.

Albert Arenas was leading the way before Vietti swooped in and improved his time further to finish just 0.101s off the pole time for Inde GasGas Aspar.

Rookie Boscoscuro rider Alonso Lopez continued his impressive run after joining the championship late at +Ego Speed Up. Fastest after FP3, it took the Spaniard a while to get up to speed in Q2. His final run took him from 17th to third - his second consecutive front row start.

A drop in form sees Aron Canet in fourth overall. He will start the race from the same position after a solid qualifying session for Flexbox HP40.

Tony Abrolino was pushed back slightly to fifth for Elf Marc VDS. Lorenzo Dalla Porta had a similar story to his session on his way to sixth for Italtrans after making his wa though fro Q1. The Italian was by far the best of the riders to progress, with Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly IntactGP) 12th, Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) 14th and Joe Roberts (Italtrans) 14th.

Fermin Aldeguer fell in Q2 but had done enough to hold on for seventh on the +Ego Speed Up entry.


Title rivals eighth and ninth.


Although most of the Moto2 riders have experienced a fall at Misano over the race weekend so far, both Ai Ogura and Augusto Fernandez seemed particularly more reserved after their tumbles.

Austria winner Ogura, who lead the team 1-1 over the line at the Red Bull Ring, fell  early in FP3 and was cautious around World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on his way to eighth for IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia.

Fernandez had two big spinning falls and was visiblt more careful when approaching the scene of his biggest fall, leaving the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider one place further back in ninth, with Vietti looking to claw back points after losing the title lead from pole.

Matteo Pasini was immediately on the pace as he arrived in Misano for another wildcard ride. His years of track familiarity brought him a top ten start on home soil.

Somkiat Chantra briefly flirted with the top of the timesheets at the start of the session before fading to eleventh on the second Honda Team Asia entry, with work to to do maintain his podium form on Sunday.

Pedro Acosta was 13th on the second red Bull KTM Ajo entry after being followed by Vietti, it is just his second race back after returning from injury.

Jorge Navarro (Flexbox HP40) lines up 16th and Filip Salac (Gresini) 17th but one rider failed to set a time - Jake Dixon.

After a big turnaround in fortunes which as seen the British rider go from a series of DNFs to a podium regular, hopes had been high for a strong qualifying with both rider and team.

Without a banker lap set the Inde GasGas Aspar rider fell early in the session at turn 15. The bike landed on its front and ended up sat on the track, with both of the riders directly behind, Acosta and Pasini, able to avoid it strewn in their path.

The team attempted a repair but the damage was too huge, leaving Dixon 18th with out a classified lap to his name.


What happened in Q1?


Despite setting the early pace neither Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp) or Alessandro Zaccone (Gresini) made it through to Q2, in fifth and eighth in the session, for 19th and 22nd on the grid. 

Barry Baltus made a late run at the Q1 top four but could only pick up enough pace for sixth in the session (Grid - 20th).

Cameron Beaubier spent much of the session in last thanks to a cancelled lap after exceeeding track limits. Though the American Racing rider does not favour the track, he rallied for a final time attack but fell just short in the final sector leaving him to line up 24th.

Simone Corsi (30th) crashed early at Turn 2. Right at the end of the session Keminth Kubo (31st) had his third fall of the day after a double off in FP3.

Injuries, replacements and penalties


Bo Bendsneyder was handed a long lap penalty and three place grid penalty for irresponsible riding in FP3 where he got in the way of Joe Roberts, landing him in Q1. He wil drop to 17th when the punsihment is applied on race day.

As mentioned above, Mattia Pasini returns this weekend for a wildcard with the Inde GasGas Aspar squad.

Sam Lowes is still absent following the injuries he sustained back in Silverstone. He is once again replaced at Elf Marc VDS by Senna Agius (25th).