Francesco Bagnaia escaped Q1 en-route to scoring a fourth straight MotoGP pole of the year at Misano, while title rival Fabio Quartararo will start 15th after losing his best lap for a yellow flag infringement.
Bagnaia was forced to contest the opening segment of qualifying after failing to post a good enough lap at the end of FP3 on Saturday morning, though the Ducati rider was determined to fight for pole as he needs to grab a third win in four races to keep his title hopes alive.
He and Quartararo-who also had to head out in Q1-fought between them for the top spot in the early stages of the session as the field continued to run on slicks, Bagnaia eventually coming out on top as he continuously etched away laptime as the drying Misano tarmac continued to gain grip every lap.
A phenomenal final effort of a 1:33.393s left him well clear of the field as he danced into Q2, the Italian being joined by Tech 3 KTM’s Iker Lecuona as Quartararo failed to make the cut.
Now loaded with track knowledge following his Q1 exploits, Bagnaia immediately set the pace in Q2 with the fastest lap of the weekend-a 1:33.045s-that would ultimately prove to be enough to grab his fourth pole in a row as his competitors tried and failed to usurp him.
Team-mate Jack Miller got closest just 0.025s adrift of his fellow Desmosedici rider, giving Bagnaia a great chance to try and significantly reduce Quartararo’s sizeable 52 point series lead with Quartararo starting only 15th after being demoted from 13th following Q1 after posting his best time under yellow flag conditions.
Avintia rookie Luca Marini impressed meanwhile as he completed the front row on his two-year old Ducati, lapping just 0.085s away from Bagnaia’s benchmark as he looks to match the rostrum scored by team-mate Enea Bastianini at Misano just five weeks ago.
Pol Espargaro was the leading Honda in fourth ahead of KTM’s Miguel Oliveria, while Franco Morbidelli at least gave Yamaha something to smile about with sixth on the grid.
Marc Marquez saw a potential front-row slot go begging thanks to a late crash at Turn 6, while spills for both Tech 3 men meant they were limited to eighth and ninth, the duo having both held provisional front row spots mid-way through the test.
It was a messy session for Pramac Ducati too as Johann Zarco could manage only tenth owing to a crash on his final flyer, while team-mate Jorge martin crashed twice in Q2 en-route to 12th just behind Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro.
Both Suzuki’s failed to escape the confines of Q1 meanwhile, Alex Rins having to make do with 14th while reigning series champion Joan Mir crashed at the final bend prior to his final runs, meaning he will take the start from 19th just behind San Marino GP hero Bastianini.
Petronas SRT’s tough weekend failed to improve as Andrea Dovizioso was able to muster up just 21st on his Yamaha, while Valentino Rossi’s final premier class race on home soil will see him start from the back of the grid in 23rd.