Moto2 escaped the worst of the weather as the thunder, lightning and rain arrived at Mugello in time for MotoGP Q2 but had settled by the time Aron Canet set the best lap of the weekend to claim pole at round eight - the Italian Grand Prix.

One of several riders to top the timesheets as the lap times dropped and confidence on the drying track came, The Flexbox HP40 rider elected to slot in behind Sam Lowes to use the Brit as a marker for his best run.

 

 

The Spaniard’s time of 1m 51.121s took pole with all riders pushing for the entire session with the constant threat of more rain overhead.

Canet will be looking to build on back-to-back second places - and obtain that elusive first win - from pole. It is the second time the #40 has claimed the top slot on the grid this season- the first came in Portugal.

Pedro Acosta was a constant in the mix for pole. Running solo for most of the session he slipped into second on the Red Bull KTM Ajo after briefly leading the standings before Canet crossed the line, finishing his day 0.125s slower than his compatriot.

Sam Lowes was top briefly before being followed over the line by Canet. The Elf Marc VDS rider knew their time on track together had brought success to the duo, congratulating his rival as the chequered flag waved as he held on to third.

Championship leader Celestino Vietti got off to a slow start and built into the session. With most riders unable to make gains in the final moments as the field stayed out on their tyres in case the weather turned wet, the Mooney VR46 rider broke the mould.

Slotting in behind Canet for his final flying lap the Italian is the best placed home rider in fourth on the grid.

 

Mattia Pasini makes a Moto2 return

The GasGas Aspar team has an extra member for the weekend thanks to a wildcard for Mattia Pasini.

A three time winner at the circuit, Pasini topped the timesheets briefly in FP1 showing the home hero had lost none of his pace, though with little progress for most in the afternoon session he had slipped from the top 14 after FP2.

A committed performance from the Italian saw him come through Q1 top with the best lap of the weekend at that stage - a 1m 51.673s.

A constant at the top of the Q2 standings, Pasini ended the session a credible fifth after going faster again in the session.

The most memorable of his wins in the Tuscan hills came back in 2017 - at the time his first victory since 2009, completed after a long battle with Alex Marquez and Tom Luthi

It marks a return to working with Jorge Martinez ‘Aspar’ and his team for the man from Rimini, having  ridden with them in the 125cc class back in 2006, and having been called up as a replacement rider in 2019 for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Pasini cannot race with his most memorable number as 54 is currently taken Fermin Aldeguer, so he will instead be using #11.

Pasini’s most recent win came back in 2018 on his 100th grand prix start at the Argentinian round.

 

Ai Ogura left it late to find his rhythm. A series of strong laps saw the Japanese rider move his Idemitsu Honda Team Asia bike up from 17th to fifth before being leapfrogged by Vietti.

Joe Roberts worked his way up to seventh  for the Italian Italtrans team, just quicker than Tony Aborlino (Elf Marc VDS), who had needed to move up from Q2 after a crash in FP3 had left him outside the top fourteen.

Jake Dixon had controlled FP1 on Friday and was expected to go fast again in FP3. The Inde GasGas Aspar rider instead found himself still relying on that early Friday lap to go directly to Q2.

Finding the going tough, the British rider posted the ninth best time, with Barry Baltus slipstreaming his way to the top ten for RW Racing GP.

Le Mans race winner, Augusto Fernandez, also found the Tuscan track and threat of rain tricky - he will start from 14th for Red Bull KTM Ajo. 

Marcos Ramirez found himself in Q1 after an FP3 incident where he and Gabriel Rodrigo got tangled up after avoiding Vietti ahead, who pulled off an amazing save to stay upright. Ramirez then endured a long wait to get back to the pits with no transport available, leaving no chance to progress.

The MV Agusta rider brought his bike home 16th in Q2 just behind fellow Q1 graduate Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up) on times.

What else happened in Q1?

 

Alonso Lopez (MB Conveyors Speed Up) hit the top of the timesheets early in Q1 and his lap almost held on, but he was shuffled back to fifth after the last times came in for 19th on the grid.

A frustrated Marcel Schrotter could not find clear track and struggled to get near the top four in the first half of qualifying. Coming across Keminth Kubo, who tried to move out of his way was a rider in his path too far - he kicked out at the Thai rider. That incident was placed under investigation. Kubo later crashed in the session.

Winner in Indonesia and a podium finisher last time in France, Somkiat Chantra never got into gear in the tricky conditions, leaving the Honda Team Asia rider tenth in the session - for 24th on the grid.