Italian GP: Quartararo tops final practice ahead of qualifying

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo set the fastest time in the Free Practice 4 session ahead of qualifying later today for the Grand Prix of Italy.

The Frenchman appears to be the man to beat heading into today’s qualifying session at Mugello. Quartararo set a session best time of 1m46.647s to lead the field as home rider Pecco Bagnaia finished second.

Valentino Rossi’s dismal season continued as the legend will once again go out in Q1. Taka Nakagami shone as the Japanese rider grabbed P3 on his LCR Honda. That could bode well for him in Q1.

Alex Rins and Joan Mir enjoyed a solid session on their Suzuki machines as both riders claimed top eight places. The other big surprise got sprung by the KTM riders.

Miguel Oliveira finished fifth, and Brad Binder went tenth fastest. Marc Marquez is another rider who struggled in this delayed session as the Repsol Honda rider could only go 17th fastest.

Seven-tenths separated the top-ten riders, a strong indicator of how close the bikes are in competitiveness.

Maverick Vinales was strangely off the pace, although a crash may have hindered him; he finished nearly eight tenths off his teammate’s time. Vinales is another big-name rider that will go out in Q1.

Aleix Espargaro underlined his status as one of the top midfield runners with ninth place. Ultimately, the session belonged to Quartararo and his Yamaha bike.

The Frenchman has displayed a strong pace all weekend, and he is the man to beat. Although, the rapid pace of Bagnaia on the Ducati is hot on his heels.