Lorenzo Makes Historic Lap at Mugello in FP3, Marquez Goes Through Q1

Jorge Lorenzo destroys fastest lap record at Mugello, the first-ever rider under 1'47 13 photos
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It's road racing history in the making at Mugello this morning, as Jorge Lorenzo literally obliterated Dani Pedrosa's record at the Italian track. Most riders saved the best for the final laps, and we got to see a quick changes on the time boards.
Lorenzo got the best lap of all times at Mugello in his penultimate run, and went below the 1"47 mark, with a 1'46.617 top performance and still remaining in the 46's in his final lap. He was the only rider to go under low the 1'47 bar so far.

Believe it or not, Lorenzo was followed by no less than three Ducati machines, the two factory ones and, surprisingly, the third was the development bike ridden by test pilot Michele Pirro. Ducati will field Pirro as a wildcard entry this weekend.

The choice is a most natural one because Mugello is, in a way, Ducati's playground and home circuit, and it was on this track where a big part of the Desmosedici GP15 machine was developed and tested.

Pol Espargaro sits fifth in the combined practice times, followed by Cal Crutchlow, who was only 16 thousandths of a second faster than Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa seems to slowly return to form, and constantly was the quickest rider in the first section of the circuit.

Top ten is complete with Bradley Smith, Valentino Rossi and Suzuki Ecstar's Maverick Vinales, with the Hamamatsu machines showing a very good pace in the twisty sections of the Mugello track.

Marc Marquez 11th in the combined times, has to go through Qualifying 1

Valentino Rossi has somehow gotten us used to modest performance in the times sessions that count towards the Qualifying runs and showed that he can win races even when starting lower on the grid. For the reigning champion Marc Marquez, however, this weekend at Mugello starts to look like a nightmare.

Not only Marquez failed to find a good pace in the Free Practice sessions, but he also missed Q2. Marquez was 11th in the combined free practice times, only 0.009 behind rookie Maverick Vinales, who is also riding a completely new Suzuki bike that's still under heavy development.

We saw the look on Nakomoto-San's face as Marquez flew past the checkered flag at the end of FP3 and the HRC VP was not happy at all. Had Marquez went straight to Q2, he'd still had a fighting chance for a first-row start, or even a new pole.

But having to go through Q1 means that the best starting position he can hope for is the center spot on the fourth row. His mission will not be exactly easy, as other riders with great potential will also be battling for the last two open spots in Q2. Scott Redding, Danilo Petrucci and Aleix Espargaro are surely going to give the two-time World Champion a ride for his money.

A wild race is expected at Mugello tomorrow

The Sunday race, no matter the outcome of the Qualifying sessions, promises to be a wild one. That is because the twelve-fastest riders are separated by less than a second, and this means an all-out war.

If Lorenzo secures another holeshot start into the first turn and he maintains the pace he showed in FP3, it's rather hard to believe anyone could catch him to the finish line. Stock on beers, tomorrow will be a glorious day for MotoGP!
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