With seven victories before his home crowd at Mugello, Valentino Rossi is the winningest rider at the Tuscan circuit that will host its 33rd year of GP races this Sunday.The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 pilot wasted no time making his reign known Saturday when he claimed the pole position at Mugello – the 65th of his Grand Prix career, and eighth at Mugello.
Before a raving crowd covered in yellow colors to cheer on their home hero, the nine-time World Champion Rossi claimed pole with a lap time of 1:46.208, which ousted Andrea Iannone’s record from 2015 of 1:46.489 (Ducati Team).Qualifying on the front row with Rossi were Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo (-0.035) and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales (-0.096). Lorenzo is now tied with Rossi in second for most pole positions across all GP classes. The pole leader remains Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez with 74.Heading up row two ahead of Sunday’s 23-lap Grand Prix of Italy Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone, the Italian qualifying ahead of Alma Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci and four-time MotoGP Champion Marquez.
Marquez was quick from the outset, but couldn’t keep his momentum going. The RC213V pilot has won the past three races, including a dominating performance two weeks ago in Le Mans, but has only one premier-class win at Mugello (2014).Row three consists of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, who set a new top speed Friday of 215.24 mph, qualified seventh ahead of LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow, who won in Argentina, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco, and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins.The grid is now set for 2018 Mugello MotoGP, which gets underway at 8 a.m. ET. Marquez leads the points battle with 95, 36 ahead of Vinales, 37 ahead of Zarco, and 39 ahead of Rossi.Check out of 2018 MotoGP TV Schedule for television times!
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.