While fellow rookies Jorge Martin and Enea Bastianini both crashed three times during today’s qualifying day at the Emilia-Romagna MotoGP, Luca Marini made light work of the tricky conditions to secure his first ever premier class front row.

Marini was towards the bottom end of the top ten heading into his final Q2 effort, but after using Franco Morbidelli as a marker in front, toppled with a stunning fourth sector, the Italian was able to put his two-year-old Desmocedici bike less than a tenth off pole. 

While this result may come as a surprise to some, it wasn’t to Marini himself because a ‘rider can make the difference in tricky conditions’. 

Marini said: "I knew the gap between the bikes was thinner because of these tricky conditions. 

"The rider can make the difference in this situation and I just tried to put all the sectors together to do a clean lap. 

"At the end it was not a surprise, but something really great inside of me because when I passed the chequered flag I knew it was a really strong lap, then when I looked at the big screen and it said third, it was a really great emotion. 

"This year we have worked really well with my team, with my crew, even though we are quite far from the top riders. 

"When I have a good feeling with the bike I can be strong and fast in all the situations. This is something I’m really proud of." 

Marini has steadily been making progress throughout the season, and while he doesn’t have the flashy results of Martin in particular, the former Moto2 runner-up feels he is drawing closer to the top riders. 

The Italian rookie was not convinced he could have produced the same performance had qualifying been dry, but there are certainly gains that have been made (ergonomics and overall setting) since the Misano test last month.

"For me, I’m getting closer to the top. Also, at the beginning of the season there were some tracks where I was comfortable on the bike like Portimao and I could be strong, but every time I was missing something on the race," added Marini. 

"I tried every time to work especially on this, but also build my feeling with the bike to be better also in qualifying. 

"I think that in the Misano test we did an amazing job and we found a good solution on the bike. 

"Now the ergonomics side is much better, but also the overall setting is better, so I can ride the bike like I want, like I like to, and it looks like a key with the Ducati. 

"All of us are keeping the same riding style in our career. Me, I’m riding similar to Moto2, Enea [Bastianini] is similar to Moto2 and also Pecco, so we want to ride this way to be at the top. 

"I know today the result is in part because of the condition. I think if it was completely dry it would be difficult to be here."