Just as he was turning his best lap of the qualifiers, Marc Marquez found Johann Zarco’s Yamaha in his path which, although only partially, slowed the Spanish rider who finished sixth at the end of the session.
The World Champion will therefore start from the second row of the grid in the difficult and demanding race tomorrow: “I must say that it is not Zarco’s fault, but mine - admitted Marc - because I started my best lap too close to Johann and I struggled, wasting valuable time. But I am not discouraged. I saw that we have the second best lap of the 'ideal times' and our race pace is not bad either, quite the contrary.”
What will your tactic be tomorrow?
“The front tyre is our problem. We will need to find a good solution with the Honda technicians tomorrow and choose the right tyre. I was at the limit on every corner here and that is the section where I struggle the most. Tomorrow I will try to come back with a good start, because our goal is the podium. The win? There are a lot of us who can achieve it and we are as fast as the Yamahas, faster in practice, but at our level in terms of race pace. We are all at the limit here.”
Fifth spot on the grid for Dani Pedrosa, not even half a second behind Viñales’ pole. The team Repsol Spaniard is lying second in the championship standings and starting from the second row does not worry him that much: “The fifth time is not bad for us - Dani reveals – although this is not the best time we could have done in qualifying because we have an excellent race pace and a chance to make a play for the win.”
What do you need to improve on your Honda for the Grand Prix?
“First of all, the biggest problem for us has to do with the front tyre. If the temperatures tomorrow are like they were today, we will have to put on a hard tyre on the front and medium on the rear. Also, in some points of the track the electronics were intervening too much and it was costing us speed. We will also work on optimizing the stability of the bike and a good start will be important, partly because slipstreaming is always important at Mugello.”
The hard wheelies at 215 mph before San Donato and the wind do not frighten little Dani: “Of course, doing a wheelie at that point at certain speeds is not exactly ideal, but it is worse when the bike is really twitchy in the direction changes and it is hard to control it. In any case, the Ducatis are strong before San Donato and we will need to learn how to manage the situation like they do.”