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Rookie Di Giannantonio claims shock Italian MotoGP pole

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57a3f988c35d1cb879efbd6b096ccc050ba9901d

Mugello: Fabio Di Giannantonio claimed a shock pole position in the Italian MotoGP on Saturday, the Italian snatching top spot on the grid for the first time in his career on his final lap at Mugello.


Gresini rider Di Giannantonio had led for large tracks of the day's second qualifying run but looked to have lost pole to Johann Zarco and then Marco Bezzecchi until he posted a stunning time of one minute, 46.156sec on the day's last lap.


The 23-year-old Italian had made his way into the second run after topping the times in the first qualifying session and his team celebrated wildly as he crossed the line after time had elapsed to snatch pole at the last.


Di Giannantonio is in his first season in the top class MotoGP after finishing seventh with Kalex in Moto2 last season.


He was one of two rookies in the top two positions alongside VR46 Racing Team rider Bezzecchi, who took second in the grid on his Ducati for his first ever top line finish in MotoGP, just 0.088sec behind Di Giannantonio.


Reigning champion and current overall standings leader Fabio Quartararo finished sixth, the Yamaha rider 0.350sec off the pace and behind a top five dominated by Ducati riders on good form on home turf.


Quartararo leads the championship standings by 14 points ahead of Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro, who finished seventh.


Marc Marquez finished in 11th, the six-time MotoGP champion spinning off his bike almost instantly after making the second session alongside Di Giannantonio.


Spaniard Marquez overtook to have the open track in front of him only to completely lose control on turn two and flew off the bike across the tarmac.


He walked away and recovered to take part in the rest of the session but was nowhere near the leaders.


Francesco Bagnaia posted the fastest time in the third practice but finished fifth in qualifying, 0.315sec behind the shock pole winner. -- AFP


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