2018 San Marino MotoGP Saturday Results

Michael Scott | September 8, 2018

2018 San Marino MotoGP Saturday Results

Jorge Lorenzo claimed his third pole of the season and his second in a row with an new all-out record at the Misano World Circuit today. The factory Ducati rider dominated a dramatic session in which title leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) hit the ground running after a dramatic crash, and narrowly saved another one in his own bid to take the top slot.

2018 San Marino MotoGP Saturday Results

Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo scored pole for the San Marino MotoGP 2018 (Gold & Goose photo)

His last pole at Silverstone was wasted when the race was cancelled due to an unfit track surface; that in Catalunya took him to a second straight win.

Ducatis have been strong throughout two days at the 4.226-km Marco Simoncelli circuit just inland from the Misano Riviera beach resorts; and it will be another of the Italian V4s alongside him on the front row. But it is independent-team rider Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Ducati) rather than second factory rider Andrea Dovizioso, who qualified fourth to lead row two.

Dovi was dropped in the closing stages by a blazing lap from a much-revived Maverick Vinales. The Movistar Yamaha rider was the third to dip under the 1m 32s mark.

“It has always been a good track for me,” said a confident Lorenzo; while Miller said: “I didn’t expect this, but I’ll take it. I’ve had a good pace all weekend.”

Vinales’s improvement follows strong dry runs at Silverstone, after electronic and chassis changes have lifted his mood and his performance.

Marquez, like Lorenzo, used a two-stop strategy in the 15-minute Q2 session. But his second stop was not as scheduled, when he lost the front and went barrelling into the gravel. He galloped to get a scooter lift then sprinted through his pit to take another run, and was challenging for pole when another front-wheel slide slowed him … though he managed to save it this time. He ended up fifth.

Alongside him, LCR Castrol Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who also tumbled in the session.

The last-gasp action dropped Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) to seventh on row three. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Ducati) and Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha) will start alongside him. Suzuki’s Alex Rins leads the fourth row from the pair through from Q1, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) and Franco Morbidelli (EG-VDS Honda). It was rookie Morbidelli’s second time to get into Q1, but short of tyres he could only do one run, and tumbled without setting a time.

Andrea Iannone (Suzuki) was best of the rest, ahead of crasher Michele Pirro and Alvaro Bautista (both Ducati); with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro heading row six from Bradley Smityh (KTM) and Honda wild card Stefan Bradl.

GP novice Christophe Ponsson, taking the place of injured Reale Avintia Ducati rider Tito Rabat, made the 107-percent qualifying cut comfortably, qualifying 26th and last.

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Michael Scott | MotoGP Editor Scott has been covering MotoGP since long before it was MotoGP. Remember two-strokes? Scott does. He’s also a best-selling author of biographies on the lives of legendary racers such as Wayne Rainey and Barry Sheene.