MotoGP qualifying: Gresini rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio claims pole in rain-hit Italy

Gresini's 23-year-old Fabio Di Giannantonio upset the odds to claim pole position in Italy, with Ducati riders locking out all of the top five spots.

Fabio Di Giannantonio claimed a maiden pole during Saturday's qualifying for the Italian Moto GP.

The 23-year-old was joined on the front row by fellow Italian's Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini, while Francesco Bagnaia finished fifth, 0.1s adrift of France's Johann Zarco in fourth.

Rain continued to affect riders around the Mugello Circuit, with the harsh conditions demanding plenty of respect throughout both qualifying sessions.

Brad Binder was the only rider to emerge from Q1 in slick tyres, with the rest of the grid opting for wets. It proved to be an inspired choice from the South African, who set a time 3s quicker than his rivals.

Binder remained at the top of the timesheets as the rain worsened, but improving conditions towards the end of the session allowed others to improve their times, with Fabio Di Giannantonio handling the pressure best to set a 1:47.219s.

Thunder and lightning were spotted overhead in Italy during Q2, and a Marc Marquez heavy highside early on brought out the red flags, with his Honda erupting into flames and leaving oil on track. The running was paused for 10 minutes before resuming.

Thankfully the Spaniard was quick to his feet and managed to return to his garage unscathed, before returning on his second bike for the final five minutes.

Again with track conditions improving towards the end of the session, the times continued to topple, with the riders scrambling at the top in their final few runs.

But again it was Di Giannantonio who emerged on top, with the Italian recording a 1:46.156s to claim his maiden pole.

The Italian will now look to defend his lead in Sunday's race, which is scheduled to start at 13:00 BST.

Starting Grid

1 Fabio Di Giannantonio - Gresini Racing (1:46.156s)

2 Marco Bezzecchi - VR46 Racing (1:46.244s)

3 Luca Marini - VR46 Racing (1:46.327s)

4 Johann Zarco - Pramac Racing (1:46.383s)

5 Francesco Bagnaia - Ducati Lenovo (1:46.471s)

6 Fabio Quartrararo - Monster Energy Yamaha (1:46.506s)

7 Aleix Espargaro - Aprilia Racing (1:46.507s)

8 Takaaki Nakagami - LCR Honda (1:46.561s)

9 Pol Espargaro - Respol Honda (1:46.667s)

10 Enea Bastianini - Gresini Racing (1:46.679s)

11 Jorge Martin - Pramac Racing (1:47.223s)

12 Marc Marquez - Respol Honda (1:47.468s)

13 Jack Miller - Ducati Lenovo (1:47.621s)

14 Michele Pirro - Aruba.it Racing (1:48.209s)

15 Miguel Oliveira - Red Bull KTM Racing (1:48.231s)

16 Brad Binder - Red Bull KTM Racing (1:48.255s)

17 Joan Mir - Team Suzuki Ecstar (1:48.732s)

18 Alex Marquez - LCR Honda (1:48.846s)

19 Remy Gardner - Tech3 KTM Racing (1:48.907s)

20 Darryn Binder - WithU RNF Racing Yamaha (1:49.471s)

21 Alex Rins Team - Suzuki Ecstar (1:50.266s)

22 Lorenzo Savadori - Aprilia Racing (1:50.270s)

23 Franco Morbidelli - Monster Energy Yamaha (1:55.369s)

24 Maverick Vinales - Aprilia Racing (1:56.479s)

25 Raul Fernandez - Tech3 KTM Racing (1:57.106s)

26 Andrea Dovizioso - WithU RNF Racing Yamaha (1:57.671s)

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