Luca Marini dominates qualifying in the CzechGP to score his maiden pole.
Marini has finally silenced his critics and proved he is not just Valentino Rossi’s half-brother. The reserved Italian’s confidence is noticeably growing after his third-place finish in Germany as he delivered a 2.02.244 lap time under the blistering sun. Marini is joined on the front row by Alex Marquez in second and Italian rider Mattia Pasini.
Miguel Oliveira qualified in fourth, his best qualifying position of the season. The Portuguese rider continues to lack pace in qualifying sessions but has already managed some superb performances from as far back as 17th on the grid. Marcel Schrotter will start the race from fifth and championship leader Francesco Bagnaia will start in sixth. As two of the quickest men on track this weekend, all eyes will be on Schrotter and Bagnaia as the lights go out as they line up side by side.
GermanGP winner Brad Binder will start from seventh ahead of Xavi Vierge in eighth and Domi Aegerter in ninth, his best qualifying performance of the season. Lorenzo Baldassarri could only manage 10th in qualifying after a crash mid-session. The Italian was visibly annoyed with himself after his crash at turn six but fortunately, he was unharmed and able to walk away. Jorge Navarro joins Baldassarri on the fourth row in 11th ahead of Joan Mir in an unusually low position of 12th.
Iker Lecuona qualified in 13th ahead of Fabio Quartararo in 14th and Andrea Locatelli in 15th. Quartararo’s poor qualifying performance continues with another relatively low position but he has proved already this season that race day is when he truly shows his skills. Newlywed Simone Corsi will start the race in 16th alongside Romano Fenati and Bo Bendsneyder in 17th and 18th respectively.
Australian Remy Gardner qualified in 19th with a fairly impressive 2.03.273 lap time for a rider who broke both his legs three months ago. Khairul Idham Pawi crashed out at turn three after he lost the rear of his Kalex powered machine but was able to rejoin and qualify in 20th ahead of Pons HP40 rider Augusto Fernandez in 21st. Sam Lowes starts in a disappointing 22nd with Joe Roberts in 23rd and Danny Kent in 24th for company.
Tetsuta Nagashima, Steven Odendaal and Stefano Manzi make up the ninth row in 25th, 26th and 27th respectively. Manzi’s horrendous season does not seem to be letting up but he will be hoping to not add a sixth DNF in 10 races to his record this weekend. Niki Tuuli, Sheridan Morais and Jules Danilo make up an all Kalex powered row 10 in 28th, 29th and 30th.
Xavi Cardelus, Alejandro Medina and Eric Granado make up the back row. An early crash for Granado saw him unable to set a time or rejoin the race, forcing him to start from the back of the grid.
With the championship leader Bagnaia starting in sixth, ‘Miracle Mir’ in 12th and ‘El Diablo’ Quartararo in 14th, tomorrow is looking to be a fiery one. Hope you can handle the heat.