Jack Miller claimed pole position at San Marino MotoGP on Saturday to head the grid for Australia’s second premier class start.
Ducati rider Miller, who took pole for the last time in Argentina in 2018, set a best time of one minute and 31.899 seconds on his eighth lap.
It was a good day for Miller, who came out early in practice sessions on Saturday.
The 27-year-old finished just 0.015s behind team-mate Francesco Bagnaia, but will start Sunday’s race in fifth place after being hit with three grid penalties on Sunday.
Bagnaia was adjudged to have tripped Alex Marquez in Friday morning’s practice, giving the Italian a chance to close the 44-point gap on him and championship leader Fabio Quattararo.
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World champion Quattararo will start further up the grid after the 25-year-old Frenchman finished ninth on the grid, 0.347s behind Miller.
He is second in the overall standings and one point behind Alejandro Espargaro, who is 32 points behind Quatararo.
Valentino Rossi’s half-brother Luca Marini finished seventh to claim a place in the decisive second session on pole after beating George Martin in the first qualifying session.
Martin was set to take part in the second qualifying session until he dropped to 15th after his best lap in Saturday’s first practice was ruled out.
The Spaniard then looked to have a chance to fight for pole, but a perfect time of 1:32.004 from Marini before the rain came to hand the Italian second place in Q1, leaving Martin 13th on the grid. .
In Moto 3, Denis Onku clocked 1:42.448s, 0.649s off championship leader Sergio Garcia in 13th.
Garcia sits fifth on Sunday’s grid in the Moto3 standings with 193 points, 15 ahead of teammate and Spaniard Izan Guevara.