Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) made some more magic at magnificent Mugello today, storming to pole position on his last lap of qualifying for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix. The 26-year-old Spaniard timed his attack to perfection, riding a stunning final lap and using the slipstream from a rival’s machine to find even more speed on the charge to the finish line.

The reigning MotoGP World Champion is leading this year’s title race and two Sundays ago at Le Mans he scored Honda’s 300th win in the premier 500cc/MotoGP class. Today’s performance was his 56th MotoGP pole position, which puts him just two poles behind Honda’s all-time greatest qualifier, Mick Doohan, who took 58 pole positions on Honda NSR500 machines during the 1990s.

Marquez finished the first three free practice sessions third fastest and worked with his crew to create a perfect strategy for the 15-minute Q2 qualifying session, run in bright sunshine at this stunningly picturesque venue.

The five-times MotoGP king changed tires midway through, waited calmly in the pits, then rode out onto the track with five minutes remaining. He chased title-rival Andrea Dovizioso through much of his final lap, closing the gap until he was right behind the Italian as they swept onto the start-finish straight, which is MotoGP’s fastest and where the cleverest riders use a slipstream to increase their speed. Marquez calculated the gap perfectly to take pole, 0.214 seconds in front of Fabio Quartararo.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) also rode an excellent session. The 33-year Briton was eighth fastest in free practice, but was ready to up his pace when it mattered most. He improved his feeling with his RC213V during free practice, so he was able to extract the maximum speed out of softer tires during qualifying, lapping Mugello just 0.560 seconds down on Marquez. Tomorrow Crutchlow will be chasing his first podium result since the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.

His team-mate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) was similarly impressive. The 27-year-old from Chiba ended the first three practice sessions an excellent fourth fastest aboard his 2018 RC213V, right behind Marquez. In Q2 he couldn’t repeat that performance, qualifying tenth to lead the fourth row after nearly falling during his best run. But he too was fast, eighth tenths down on Marquez, and is confident of running a strong pace in the race.

Marquez’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) has taken some more steps forward with his adaptation to the RC213V this weekend. The 32-year-old Spaniard is continuing to experiment with different ergonomics, including slightly different handlebars and seat padding, as he looks to improve his feeling during heavy braking. The hard work of both rider and team aren’t reflected in the results so far, however, with Lorenzo qualifying 17th quickest. His aim tomorrow will be to get away with a fast group and use his RC213V’s impressive horsepower to help gain positions.

Tomorrow’s races take place one day before the 60th anniversary of Honda’s very first World Championship race: the 1959 Isle of Man Ultra-Lightweight TT, which took place on June 3, 1959.

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez 93

It was a difficult qualifying because it was different from other races and a bit hard to find space. With the first tire I was ready to attack straight away but then Dovi slowed down so I overtook him and I lost some time there. [Michele] Pirro was also trying to follow me for the slipstream so tactics were needed. With the second tire we just followed our strategy and I found a good space with slipstream and I calculated the space to Dovi perfectly. The pole position is important but the most important part is being on the front row. There are a lot of opponents for tomorrow’s race!

Repsol Honda Team
Cal Crutchlow

Cal Crutchlow 35

I feel good actually and definitely a lot better than I did yesterday. We decided to focus our work on one bike and one setting which was good, because we could adjust small things from there. I wanted to be a bit quicker, and down into the 1m 45s because that would have been there. We’re half a second behind Marquez in qualifying, but with the tow he got he probably picked up four-tenths, so we’re right there. I’m quite pleased with my qualifying lap because I did it all alone and it felt good. We threw everything at it with the package we have, which hasn’t felt the best. We’re working hard and the LCR Honda CASTROL team are working great, getting the information we need to improve the bike. Overall, it’s good. It’s probably going to be a tire war tomorrow, and hopefully we’ll make the right choices.

LCR Honda
Takaaki Nakagami

Takaaki Nakagami 30

Of course I’m really happy about the second day today because we have improved a lot from yesterday. During qualifying I was a little bit disappointed with what happened in sector four on the last lap. I hit the bumps and couldn’t hold on to the bike, so I lost a bit of time. Despite this, I was still able to improve on my best lap of the weekend. I’m a bit disappointed to drop to tenth on the grid, which is the fourth row. On the other hand, I’m really happy with my feeling on the bike. I am strong, especially in the middle two sectors on the track and everything is working well on the bike. For the race the tire situation is quite clear for us, and so hopefully we will get a good start. I might not be the fastest in terms of top speed, but I think we can be strong in the whole race. The main thing is not to give up, and I will do my best to bring home a good result for my LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team.

LCR Honda
Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo 99

We tried to improve the bike but we’re still missing that last piece or step and I’m struggling more than normal. Honda and myself are working hard together to find a solution to make me more comfortable on the bike, but of course the rules limit what we can do. Tomorrow we will see what happens at this physical track.

Repsol Honda Team
Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley

Autodromo del Mugello, Italy

MotoGP 2019, Round 6

Sunny / 26
Saturday 1 Jun 2019, 14:23 UTC
  • Track Condition: Dry
  • Air Temp: 26°C
  • Humidity: 30%
  • Ground Temp: 47°C
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Marc Marquez 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'45.519
2 Fabio Quartararo 20 FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.214
3 Danilo Petrucci 9 ITA Ducati Team Ducati +0.362
4 Franco Morbidelli 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.440
5 Jack Miller 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +0.510
6 Cal Crutchlow 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda +0.560
7 Maverick Viñales 12 SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha +0.662
8 Francesco Bagnaia 63 ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +0.741
9 Andrea Dovizioso 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati +0.774
10 Takaaki Nakagami 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda +0.868
11 Pol Espargaro 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.914
12 Michele Pirro 51 ITA Ducati Test Team Ducati +1.119
13 Alex Rins 42 SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.261
14 Tito Rabat 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +0.400
15 Aleix Espargaro 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.621
16 Karel Abraham 17 CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +0.750
17 Jorge Lorenzo 99 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.857
18 Valentino Rossi 46 ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha +0.906
19 Johann Zarco 5 FRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +1.116
20 Joan Mir 36 SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +1.241
21 Hafizh Syahrin 55 THA KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM +1.944
22 Miguel Oliveira 88 POR KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM +1.957
23 Andrea Iannone 29 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +2.025
Sunny / 23
Friday 31 May 2019, 13:54 UTC
  • Track Condition: Dry
  • Air Temp: 23°C
  • Humidity: 32%
  • Ground Temp: 45°C
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Francesco Bagnaia 63 ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1'46.732
2 Fabio Quartararo 20 FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.046
3 Danilo Petrucci 9 ITA Ducati Team Ducati +0.131
4 Pol Espargaro 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.234
5 Maverick Viñales 12 SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha +0.241
6 Marc Marquez 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.330
7 Alex Rins 42 SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.435
8 Cal Crutchlow 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda +0.438
9 Jack Miller 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +0.453
10 Franco Morbidelli 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.536
11 Andrea Dovizioso 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati +0.615
12 Johann Zarco 5 FRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.687
13 Michele Pirro 51 ITA Ducati Test Team Ducati +0.689
14 Takaaki Nakagami 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda +0.751
15 Joan Mir 36 SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.847
16 Aleix Espargaro 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.880
17 Tito Rabat 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +0.954
18 Valentino Rossi 46 ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha +0.994
19 Andrea Iannone 29 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +1.155
20 Jorge Lorenzo 99 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +1.382
21 Karel Abraham 17 CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +1.414
22 Hafizh Syahrin 55 THA KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM +1.764
23 Miguel Oliveira 88 POR KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM +2.182
Rider Standings
Sunday, 19 May 2019 - Open world standings grid
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Marc MARQUEZ 93 SPA 95 Repsol Honda Team Honda
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO 4 ITA 87 Ducati Team Ducati
3 Alex RINS 42 SPA 75 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki
4 Valentino ROSSI 46 ITA 72 Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha
5 Danilo PETRUCCI 9 ITA 57 Ducati Team Ducati
6 Jack MILLER 43 AUS 42 Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
7 Franco MORBIDELLI 21 ITA 34 Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha
8 Cal CRUTCHLOW 35 GBR 34 LCR Honda Honda
9 Pol ESPARGARO 44 SPA 31 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
10 Maverick VIñALES 12 SPA 30 Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha
11 Takaaki NAKAGAMI 30 JPN 29 LCR Honda Honda
12 Fabio QUARTARARO 20 FRA 25 Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha
13 Aleix ESPARGARO 41 SPA 22 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
14 Jorge LORENZO 99 SPA 16 Repsol Honda Team Honda
15 Johann ZARCO 5 FRA 10 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
16 Francesco BAGNAIA 63 ITA 9 Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
17 Miguel OLIVEIRA 88 POR 8 KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM
18 Joan MIR 36 SPA 8 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki
19 Andrea IANNONE 29 ITA 6 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
20 Stefan BRADL 6 GER 6 HRC Test Team Honda
21 Hafizh SYAHRIN 55 THA 2 KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM
22 Tito RABAT 53 SPA 2 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati