The Ducati rider claimed his fourth consecutive pole position by progressing through Q1 and storming the pole shootout in tricky conditions to take top spot by 0.025s from team-mate Jack Miller.
It was a nightmare qualifying for MotoGP world championship leader Fabio Quartararo as he failed to progress from Q1 and then had his best lap time deleted having set it under yellow flags. It resulted in the Yamaha rider being relegated to 15th place on the grid for the Emilia Romagna GP.
Having come into the Misano round with the chance to seal the MotoGP world riders’ title given he holds a 52-point lead over Bagnaia, Quartararo admitted after qualifying he was “unconsciously not taking risks” in the damp but drying conditions.
Meanwhile, Bagnaia produced the perfect response to missing out on the automatic Q2 spots during practice and can keep the title fight alive until at least the next round if he outscores Quartararo by three points.
Luca Marini produced a shock to take third place in Q2, by far the MotoGP rookie’s best qualifying performance this year, to make it an all-Ducati front row on the Avintia-run bike.
Pol Espargaro had to settle for the front of the second row on the factory Honda, ahead of KTM’s Miguel Oliveira and Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli, as Honda’s Marc Marquez slipped to seventh after crashing late on in qualifying.
Iker Lecuona had been challenging for a possible front row before his own late crash pushed him back to eighth place, directly ahead of Tech3 KTM team-mate Danilo Petrucci who also crashed towards the end of the session. Johann Zarco, another late faller in Q2, had to settle for 10th place for Pramac Ducati and he completes row four ahead of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro and Jorge Martin on the sister Pramac-run bike.
Valentino Rossi will start his final home MotoGP race from 23rd place and last on the grid after struggling in the tough conditions.
Jack Miller, Ducati Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
When is the MotoGP Emilia Romagna Grand Prix?
- Date: Sunday 24th October 2021
- Start time: 1:00pm BST, 2:00pm local time
How can I watch the Emilia Romagna MotoGP?
In the United Kingdom, the Emilia Romagna MotoGP race day will be broadcast live on BT Sport, which has live broadcasting television rights for the 2021 MotoGP season. The race will be shown live on BT Sport 2, with race coverage starting at 12:30pm BST, directly after the Moto2 race.
- TV Channel: BT Sport 2
- Channel number: Sky – 414
- Channel number: Virgin Media – 528
- Start time: 7:30pm BST
MotoGP also offers its own live online video streaming service which is available to stream in the UK.
How can I watch the Emilia Romagna MotoGP highlights?
ITV4 will show the highlights of each MotoGP round in 2021, including highlights of the Moto2 and Moto3 classes, which will be broadcast on each Monday evening after the race.
- TV Channel: ITV4
- Channel number: Freeview – 25
- Channel number: Sky – 120 HD, 818 SD
- Channel number: Virgin Media – 178 HD, 118 SD
- Channel number: Freesat – 117
- Start time: Monday 25th October – 8:00pm BST
Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
What’s the weather forecast for the race at Misano?
After wet and cold conditions hit Misano on Friday and Saturday, dry and sunny weather is forecast for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon, with a low chance of rain, but highs of only 16 degrees Celsius for the start of the race – 10 degrees colder than the San Marino GP at Misano five weeks ago.
Why is it called the Emilia Romagna GP?
With races not allowed to be given the same race names in the same MotoGP world championship season, Misano’s second race of the season has been called the Emilia Romagna GP, named after the region of Italy the circuit is located in. The name was also used last year as part of the Misano double-header.
It takes inspiration from the other double-headers MotoGP put on both in 2020 and this year as part of the reshuffled calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this season Qatar hosted the first-ever Doha GP as the second leg of its back-to-back races and the Red Bull Ring hosted the Styrian GP as its second part of its double-header.
Portimao will hold the Algarve GP next month having already hosted the Portuguese GP earlier this season in April.
Why is MotoGP holding two races at Misano?
As part of the COVID-19-hit campaign the 2021 MotoGP calendar has been tweaked due to various travel restrictions in place across the world. The Finnish, Japanese, Thai, Australian, Malaysian and Argentina MotoGP rounds have all been cancelled for 2021.
In order to bulk out the calendar, Losail, the Red Bull Ring, Misano and Portimao will all host two races.