Motorsport: Motorcycling-Quartararo sets lap record to take pole at Italian Grand Prix


SCARPERIA E SAN PIERO, ITALY (Reuters) – World championship leader Fabio Quartararo of Yamaha claimed his fourth consecutive pole of the MotoGP season at the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday after he set a lap record at the Mugello Circuit.

A front row lockout from the top three championship contenders saw Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia, a point behind Quartararo, seal second on the grid while Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco lines up alongside him in third.

“I think this was the best lap I ever did in my life,” Quartararo said in a pit lane interview. “On this track you really feel the adrenaline. I was on the limit everywhere.

“I wanted to make the fastest lap today and it looked like it worked… Today was a good day. I enjoyed that lap.”

Quartararo dedicated his lap to 19-year-old Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier, who was taken to hospital in Florence earlier on Saturday after a horrific crash which red flagged the qualifying session.

Aprilia Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro starts fourth on the grid and he is joined on the second row by Ducati’s Jack Miller and Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder.

Binder’s team mate Miguel Oliveira starts seventh, ahead of the two Suzukis of Alex Rins and defending champion Joan Mir.

Earlier Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez profited from a tow behind Maverick Vinales to top Q1 while the Yamaha rider went wide on the final turn of his last lap to miss out on Q2, pushing him down to 13th on the grid.

However, six-times champion Marquez only managed 11th on the grid as he continues to struggle in his comeback from an arm injury while his team mate Pol Espargaro starts 12th.

Petronas Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, who has won seven times at Mugello in the past, had a disappointing outing in Q1 and will start 19th on the grid.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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