With eight premier class race winners failing to advance through Q1, it meant a surprising qualifying result was very possible at the Italian MotoGP.

That’s exactly what we got as rookies delivered incredible performances, Marc Marquez suffered another big highside which led to his Honda catching fire and championship contenders could only battle for the second row. 

A common theme that didn’t change was Ducati continuing their stunning level of dominance at Mugello, as the Italian manufacturer locked out the top five positions. 

So who were the riders that shocked us, both good and bad? 

Fabio Di Giannantonio - 1st 

After showing impressive pace throughout practice, Di Giannantonio was a contender to challenge the likes of Marquez, Jack Miller, Alex Rins, Brad Binder and Joan Mir for a Q2 spot, but what came next was truly a surprise. 

The Italian, who finished quickest in Q1, immediately set about challenging for pole once Q2 was back underway - red flags were deployed when Marquez crashed. And despite several riders overhauling the Italian at different stages, Di Giannantonio fired back on every occasion.

The last of those was when fellow rookie Marco Bezzecchi went quickest on his final lap, but with Di Giannantonio the only rider left on a ‘live lap’, Gresini Ducati’s hopes rested on the young Italian’s shoulders. 

Di Giannantonio didn’t disappoint as he posted four red sectors - meaning he was fastest of any rider - before eventually setting a time of 1:46.156s - +0.088s clear of his former Moto2 rival. 

Not known for his qualifying prowess, Di Giannantonio has put himself in with a great chance of fighting for the podium, if not more as conditions look to be just as unpredictable for the Grand Prix.

Marco Bezzecchi - 2nd 

Just as impressive, Bezzecchi, who leads the rookie of the year standings at present, was the only rider consistently able to challenge Di Giannantonio throughout Q2. 

While it’s a surprise to see Bezzecchi qualify on the front row, the Mooney VR46 rider has been getting quicker and quicker with each passing round. 

With track conditions improving as the checkered flag dropped, pressure to deliver on the final lap was at its highest. 

And just like Di Ginnantonio, Bezzecchi proved to be more than a match for riders who have a lot more experience with MotoGP machines in such conditions. 

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Luca Marini - 3rd

Like Bezzecchi, team-mate Luca Marini delivered a brilliant performance with team owner and half brother Valentino Rossi in attendance. 

Marini is no stranger to qualifying on the front row in MotoGP - claimed third at Misano (2021) and again in Argentina earlier this season, however, Marini has struggled with the Desmosedici GP22 for large parts of this season.

With that said, Mugello has looked like a real turnaround in form for Marini who will need to prove that he can remain in the battle for the podium during Sunday’s race, something he failed to do in both his previous P3 starts. 

Which MotoGP riders failed to deliver in conditions they’ve previously starred in?

Jack Miller - 13th

Miller was surprisingly relegated to Q1, not something we usually see for the factory Lenovo Ducati rider, and how costly it proved to be… 

The Australian, who is being heavily linked to KTM as his future with Ducati appears very much at risk, showed good speed throughout Q1.

But problems occurred when Marquez and Di Giannantonio were repeatedly going quicker whilst right behind him. 

Had Miller got through Q1, then he would have been an odds-on favourite to challenge for pole, instead, Miller’s attempt at winning the Italian MotoGP is now a near-impossible task. 

Brad Binder - 16th 

The factory KTM rider was the first to show his incredible bravery as he elected for slicks when the track remained wet. 

And while it paid off in the short-term as he went quickest by three seconds, Binder’s attempts to make Q2 ended there.

The South African found more pace as the session developed, the problem, so did those around him as he eventually missed out by 0.7s. 

Binder has always been strong in mixed conditions, however, Mugello was not one of those as his race is once again going to be heavily impacted by qualifying low down.