Italian MotoGP: Jorge Martin bounces back for Mugello pole with record lap

Jorge Martin turned around his weekend with pole position and a new record of Mugello with late progress halted in qualifying for the Italian MotoGP Grand Prix by a fall for Marc Marquez.

Jorge Martin, Pole position, Mugello for the Italian GP, June 2024
Jorge Martin, Pole position, Mugello for the Italian GP, June 2024
© Gold & Goose

Jorge Martin may have seen his Mugello weekend start on the wrong foot but was in the zone for qualifying and his well timed early qualifying lap held on for pole position in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

The Spanish rider was only seventh overnight and there were no signs he had found the missing ingredient to his woes on the Prima Pramac bike in the earlier FP2 session where he finished 15th.

Martin got out of the blocks early in the Q2 session, and it was just his second lap which saw him set a new record best of Mugello - a 1m 44.504s.



Francesco Bagnaia was in second at the chequered flag, 0.043s behind. The Ducati rider was on a different schedule to maximise his solo track time and had just missed out on going top after a series of red sectors only to lose his lap in the final sector. The start of his next was ruined when the Italian pushed too hard at home in the change of direction at the second corner, with the #1 bike pulling out.

That left Bagnaia a sitting duck, but his time held strong as the yellow flags waved for Marquez’s crash. Bagnaia will not line up in that position for the feature race on Sunday as he has a three place grid penalty to be applied after being judged to have rode slowly in front of Alex Marquez on Friday, a punishment he referred to as ‘clown penalties’ after the session having challenged, with the appeal unsuccessful.

The final front row spot broke up the Ducati domination with Maverick Vinales third fastest, taking his turn to impress on the Aprilia after his teammate Aleix Espargaro took pole last time out in the Catalan race.

Marc Marquez had already set a lap good enough for fourth before his fall from his Gresini Ducati, the Spaniard was following Franco Morbidelli, who had already lowered the lap record in Q1 when he crashed out of the session.

Enea Bastianini was fifth for Ducati, one of may riders losing their best run to the yellow flag.

Morbidelli moved onto sixth on the second Prima Pramac Ducati after coming up from the first qualifying session, with rookie Pedro Acosta half a second off the pole time but crash free after his double fall yesterday. The #31 was again the best of the KTM riders.

Alex Marquez set the eighth best time for Gresiini, while Aleix Espargaro was ninth on the second Aprilia and Alex Rins was top Yamaha after moving straight to Q2 after finishing second in practice, completing the Q2 top ten.

Q1 saw Morbidelli’s lap record pace allowing him to move on, building on his pace in the FP2 session.

He was joined in the progression slots by Raul Fernandez for Trackhouse Racing, who went on to finish Q2 in 12th.

Brad Binder just missed out in third in the session - the KTM rider will fill 13th on the grid as the Red Bull riders woes continue.

Fabio Quartararo also came close after building up a series of fast laps, the Yamaha rider finished Q1 fifth, with Fabio Di Giannantonio also just missing out in fourth in the session for the VR46 team.

There was a strange fall in the Q1 session for wildcard rider Pol Espargaro, returning with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing. the Spaniard saw his bike continue straight on as it threw him off sideways. Espargaro finished the session in 11th, just ahead of fellow wildcard Lorenzo Savadori who was twelfth for Aprilia.

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