Francesco Bagnaia celebrates his record pole in front of his home fans at Mugello / © AFP
World champion Francesco Bagnaia set a new track record to seal pole position for the Italian MotoGP at Mugello on Saturday.
Bagnaia, on his factory Ducati, is joined on the front row for Saturday's sprint by Honda's Marc Marquez and the six-time world champion's younger brother Alex Marquez.
There was a moment of high drama during qualifying when Marc Marquez rejoined the track from the pits in front of Bagnaia who took exception, gesticulating furiously at the Spaniard.
Bagnaia put his rage to one side to then post a new fastest ever lap at Ducati's home track of 1 min 44.855 seconds, to a huge cheer from his fans.
"It was incredible," said last year's Mugello winner Bagnaia, looking to bounce back from his crash at Le Mans last time out.
"I did everything quite perfect, happy with everything, we are ready for the sprint race, the day has started well," added the winner of two sprints and two races already this season.
Marc Marquez had come into the weekend downbeat about his prospects of challenging the Ducatis on their home asphalt.
"That was totally unexpected to be on the front row at Mugello, I feel better with the bike," said the Spaniard, who then reflected on the incident with Bagnaia.
"I don't understand why 'Pecco' was so upset, but the incident helped push me to do a good lap," he added, with a wry grin.
Bagnaia, when asked for his take on the incident, told BT.Sport "I don't want to talk about that."
Bagnaia leads the championship going into this sixth round by one point from Marco Bezzecchi, who starts from the third row.
Bezzecchi initially was destined for the second row before Luca Marini, his teammate at the Ducati-powered VR46 team owned by retired MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi, had a lap time reinstated, promoting him from 11th to fourth.
Joining Marini on the second row are Jack Miller (KTM) and Jorge Martin (Ducati Pramac).
South African Brad Binder, lying third in the riders' standings, is back on the fourth row after qualifying in only 11th.
There was more woe for France's 2021 world champion Fabio Quartararo who starts from a lowly 15th on his Yamaha.
Alex Marquez, while setting off from the front in the sprint, will be demoted three places for Sunday's showpiece race due to an incident at the start of the French MotoGP at Le Mans.