Vinales beats Miller to pole position

Vinales admitted after Friday that he was “lost” with the set-up of his YZR-M1, as the grip problems that had stained his GP from the Czech Republic had spread.

But the Spaniard was in good shape on Saturday, came straight into Q2 in FP3 and took his first pole position since Phillip Island last year.

Vinales set the early pace in the second quarter with 1: 23.892 minutes and fought a battle for top-class sport with Fabio Quartararo from Petronas Yamaha.

The championship leader was ahead with 1: 23.787 minutes, while Vinales hit back with 1: 23.716 minutes.

However, this attempt was canceled due to a violation of the track restrictions, which caused him to drop to third place and Quartararo climbed back to the provisional pole.

Vinales wiped this away and established himself at the top of the timesheet with 1: 23.694 minutes nine minutes before the end.

In the closing stages, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, who will be leaving the team at the end of 2020, threatened himself for pole position.

Vinales was able to work out a slight advantage with 1: 23.643 minutes before Dovizioso exceeded it with 1: 23.656 minutes.

One last attempt for Vinales put him in 1: 23.450 minutes, which – despite Pramacs Miller’s best efforts – was good enough for pole.

Quartararo was 0.019 seconds behind Miller, with Dovizioso being relegated to the top of the second row by KTM, ahead of Pol Espargaro, who had only one bike left for Q2 after a quick fall on the Rindt corner at Turn 9 in FP4.

Joan Mir completed the second row on the Suzuki while Franco Morbidelli led the third row on his Petronas Yamaha ahead of Rins on the sister Suzuki and Q1 pacesetter Johann Zarco (Avintia).

Takaaki Nakagami is top Honda runner on the grid in 10th place on his LCR RC213V, while Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira and Q1 graduate Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) complete the top 12.

Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci only missed a spot in Q2 by 0.024 seconds and was furious at the end of the session with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, gave him the middle finger in the pit lane at the end of the session and hit the wall in his Ducati garage.

Espargaro – who had crashed in FP4 – had withdrawn late in the session on the Rindt curve and got in Petrucci’s way.

The Aprilia driver finished 14th, Cal Crutchlow on the LCR Honda in 15th place ahead of Tech 3 rookie Iker Lecuona, who defeated Brno race winner Brad Binder in qualifying.

The returning Michele Pirro on Francesco Bagnaia’s Pramac Ducati completed the field of 22 drivers.