MotoGP: Bagnia climbs to fourth straight pole to keep title hopes alive

Francesco Bagania gave himself a great chance to prolong the MotoGP title race after claiming a fourth consecutive pole position on Saturday in a stunning return to Misano.

Ducati’s Bagnia had topped several times in the first qualifying session for the Emilia-Romagna race after a poor run in the morning’s third practice.

He then charged a best time of one minute, 33.045 seconds to finish first on the grid, just 0.25 seconds ahead of his teammate Jack Miller.

The Italian, 24, is 52 points behind championship leader Fabio Quartaro, with three races left this season, and Sunday’s race with the Yamaha rider could start in the 15th Bagania, extending his fight for at least a week can.

He needs to keep the gap in the overall standings between himself and Quartaro below 50 and will envision his chances to do so as he beat the Frenchman on the same circuit at the San Marino MotoGP in September.

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful day,” said Bagnia.

“We deserved pole, we are very fast and we will be ready tomorrow. The bikes here in Misano are great.”

It was a great afternoon for Ducati on home soil as all three front-row spots were claimed by the Italian team, with Luca Marini, Valentino Rossi’s half-brother, riding the Avintia satellite team at 1:33.130. finished third.

“I felt like I had a little more left in the tank, that I could spend a little bit of my time, but it wasn’t today,” Miller told Sky Sport Italia.

“It’s great to see all three Ducatis here and hopefully we can finish like that tomorrow.”

A strong finish is unlikely for motorcycle legend Rossi in his last MotoGP in Italy as the seven-time champion will start 23rd on the grid.

Rossi, 42, will call his army of local fans ‘ciao’ on Sunday as the Italian sports icon prepares to curtail one of the sport’s greatest careers.

Rossi has failed to recover track during his slow march towards retirement at the end of the season and is ranked 21st in the overall standings after only making the top 10 twice throughout the season.

Six-time champion Marc Marquez will start seventh on the grid, one of many riders to fall on the treacherous track that alternates between wet and dry at different points.

Pedro Acosta could have won the Moto 3 title on Sunday at the age of just 17, with the Spanish rookie starting fifth and needing 21 more points than Denis Foggia – who is 15th on the grid – of the championship. to claim.

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