Vinales takes pole in record time for San Marino MotoGP
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Maverick Vinales produced a new lap record at the Marco Simoncelli circuit on Saturday to claim pole position for the San Marino MotoGP as Yamaha locked out the top four places on the grid.
The Spaniard, who had to make a dramatic emergency leap from his bike when it lost its brakes at 210 km/h in the Styrian GP last month, pulled out a sizzling final lap of 1min31.411sec, beating the previous track record of 1min 31.629 sec.
"We had a good strategy, saving our tyres for Q2," said Vinales who claimed the 11th pole of his career.
"I feel amazing. It felt fantastic on the bike, we will try and go at the maximum tomorrow."
Vinales was a remarkable three-tenths of a second faster than the Yamaha satellite SRT rider Franco Morbidelli with his teammate and championship leader Fabio Quartararo completing the front row.
"I imagined I was going to feel better but the confidence is not so great," said the Frenchman who holds a three-point lead over Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso in the championship standings.
"Most important is we are on the front row. I am hoping for a good race."
Veteran rider Valentino Rossi, who topped the third practice session in the morning, closed out a fine day by claiming fourth spot and a place in the second row.
Grid for Sunday's San Marino MotoGP after qualifying on Saturday:
1. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 1min 31.411sec, 2. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) at 0.312, 3. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT) 0.380
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.466, 5. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati-Pramac) 0.641, 6. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati-Pramac) 0.643
7. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki) 0.679, 8. Joan Mir (ESP/Suzuki) 0.691, 9. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 0.773
10. Johann Zarco (FRA/Ducati-Avintia) 0.807, 11. Pol Espargaro (ESP/KTM) 0.855, 12. Miguel Oliveira (POR/KTM-Tech3) 0.91