Honda Respol duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa struggled during qualifying at Mugello, with the reigning world champion only managing to post the 13th quickest time.
Pedrosa, was the first out on track – taking provisional pole – and was consistently fast and improved on his second run, but with such a small gap separating the riders he was unable to place higher than seventh with his time of 1’46.875, just 0.3 seconds off pole position.
Marquez had a small crash in turn one during FP4 having already missed out on pre-qualifying for Q2 by 0.022 seconds, and had to take part in Q1 where he suffered heavily with rear grip and his time of 1’47.240. His time was not good enough to see him through to Q2, leaving him on the 5th row in 13th for tomorrow’s 23 lap race.
Marquez said: “We can’t be happy about today, because this was the worst qualifying result that we have had in MotoGP. Starting in the morning, we didn’t use the new tyre and that took us into Q, and we had a problem that prevented us from progressing to Q2. Nevertheless, I think we have a good pace for tomorrow, although it is clear that starting from so far back we will suffer a lot. We will try to make a good start and opening few laps to get into the leading group.”