MotoGP: Iannone claims maiden pole position in Italy

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Andrea Iannone claimed his maiden MotoGP pole position in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello as Ducati dominated proceedings on Saturday afternoon.

Racing on home soil this weekend, Iannone proved that Ducati’s progress at the start of the 2015 season is being sustained by edging out Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo in the final stage of qualifying.

The Italian rider gave the home fans plenty to smile about with a fastest lap time of 1:46.489 in the final part of qualifying, with Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso qualifying third on the grid.

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi was unable to keep up the Italian success, though, qualifying down in eighth place on the sister Yamaha bike.

However, the biggest shock of qualifying was the demise of Honda’s Marc Marquez. The two-time world champion failed to automatically secure a place in Q2 with a poor result in practice, and then mistimed his final Q1 lap to leave himself 13th on the grid.

The result marks Marquez’s worst ever MotoGP qualifying result, but teammate Dani Pedrosa managed to ensure there was at least one Honda in the top ten by finishing seventh in the final session.

In spite of a fracture on his arm, Iannone was able to dominate proceedings and made no secret of his delight following the session.

“I am very pleased with how things went today,” Iannone said. “For sure in my condition this result was in no way expected, but in the end me and my team did a great job and we managed to improve.

“The only problem I have at the moment is my shoulder condition, because it needs more time to get back to 100%: tomorrow will be a tough race but I will not give in.”