6/1/2019 5:19:36 PM

Marquez snatches pole for Italian MotoGP

Marquez snatches pole for Italian MotoGP

Mugello, Italy: Defending world champion Marc Marquez snatched pole position for Sunday's Italian MotoGP with the Honda rider setting a new lap record in the closing seconds of qualifying at Mugello.

The Spaniard clocked 1min 45.519sec to break a lap record that was only a few hours old and pip France's Fabio Quartararo, riding a Yamaha, by 0.214sec on the Tuscany circuit.

Italy's Danilo Petrucci, who had earlier set a lap record and also hit the highest ever speed in MotoGP, was third fastest on a Ducati at 0.362.

Five-time MotoGP champion Marquez will start on pole for the 56th time as he targets a fourth win this season in the sixth round of the world championship series.

The 20-year-old Quartararo continued to impress after becoming the youngest ever competitor to achieve pole position in Spain last month, in his debut MotoGP season.

Petrucci saved the honour of local stable Ducati as his teammate Andrea Dovizioso, second in the overall standings behind Marquez, qualified in ninth.

Australian Jack Miller, riding for  the Ducati-supplied Pramac team, was fifth.

Italian legend Valentino Rossi will start 18th on a track where he has won seven times, just behind Spanish former three-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo, who also had a disappointing day in Tuscany.

In the morning, Petrucci rode a 1min 46.056sec lap, surpassing the previous record achieved by Italian star Valentino Rossi last year.

The 28-year-old also hit the highest speed ever achieved in MotoGP of 356.7 km/h to overtake teammate Andrea Dovizioso's mark of 356.5 km/h also achieved at Mugello last year.

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