Di Giannantonio hails “dream” maiden MotoGP pole at Mugello

The Italian has had a largely under-the-radar start to his MotoGP career on his 2021-spec Gresini Ducati, taking a best of 13th last time out at Le Mans, while 11th in Indonesia was his best qualifying performance.

Di Giannantonio used the tricky conditions in Q1 at Mugello to top the session and progress to Q2, where he used his knowledge of the evolving track to snatch a shock pole by 0.088 seconds from VR46 rookie Marco Bezzecchi.

When asked to describe his breakthrough pole, Di Giannantonio said: “Well, what to say?

“It’s something incredible, because you arrive here in Mugello and expect to do a good result for all the people who come for you, who cheer for you, all the support that you have here in your home race.

“Already riding a Ducati MotoGP bike at Mugello is something incredible, and riding to the pole position is something else.

“It was such a great end of the day for me, and one of the dreams of my life is to be on top of the grid in MotoGP.

“And today we achieved it here, so incredible.”

Fabio Di Giannantonio, Gresini Racing

Fabio Di Giannantonio, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Di Giannantonio says following Marc Marquez – who announced after qualifying that Mugello will be his last race for the foreseeable future as he undergoes more surgery on his right arm – and Jack Miller helped him to better understand track conditions in Q1.

This ultimately helped him to his pole charge in Q2, though Di Giannantonio admits converting this to victory on Sunday is unlikely.

“Well, for sure already knowing more or less the conditions of the track were helping me,” he added.

“But also following Jack and Marc during Q1 that are the fastest guys in these conditions usually.

“I was behind them, I saw that the limit of the tire was really high, so I could push really hard to go fast.

“And that gave me the motivation, the knowledge that it would be possible in Q2 to push like this.

“So, it was well preparing me for Q2, so it helped.

“For tomorrow, it’s a question mark. We are on top, but at the moment honestly we don’t have the race pace to win for sure.

“We will try to enjoy the race, to fight in the first laps and then we will see. But we have the warm-up session to better understand which is our place.

“And honestly I arrived here just to reconfirm the good performance at Le Mans. So, to reconfirm that would be quite good for me.”