Jack Miller claimed a long-awaited pole position and Aleix Espargaro was left "angry and disappointed" after he could only qualify in ninth at the San Marino Grand Prix.

Ducati rider Miller will start at the front of the grid for the first time in four years after he clocked a quickest lap of one minute and 31.889 seconds on a rainy Saturday in Misano.

Francesco Bagnaia was second-fastest - but will start in fifth after being handed a three-place grid penalty - and Enea Bastianini third, with MotoGP championship leader Fabio Quartararo only eighth.

Espargaro, who trails Quartararo by 32 points, will begin Sunday's race in ninth place and says he was not prepared to take any risks in tricky conditions after a crash at Silverstone last month left him with a fractured heel.

Aprilia Racing's Espargaro knows he will have to take a more aggressive approach on race day.

He said: "My guys said, 'Fabio is [just] in front of you'. But I don't care. This is a very special GP. I want to finish on the podium because it's the home race of Aprilia."

The Spaniard added: "When I left pit lane I felt a mix of angry and disappointed. Because to ride in these conditions is very tricky, very dangerous,

"I touched a white line in the first lap and almost flew [off]. So I tried to focus and make no mistakes, go as fast as possible but without risk. And maybe I had to risk a little bit more because ninth place is not good.

"I didn't want to make a stupid mistake like I did in Silverstone, because there are still a lot of points, a lot of races, a lot of days in front of us. It's just qualifying.

"But obviously if it rains tomorrow, I will have to risk a bit more because you get the points, not today.

"I know that if I want to fight for the championship, I need to finish on the podium. So this is what I'm aiming for."

Andrea Dovizioso will start his final MotoGP race before retiring back in 18th.



1. Jack Miller (Ducati) 1:31.889
2. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing)  + 0.115
3. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.149
4. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) + 0.219
5..Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) + 0.115
6. Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) + 0.270
7. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.327
8. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) + 0.347
9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) + 0.678
10. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.876

Andrea Dovizioso has announced that he will end his illustrious MotoGP career after the San Marino Grand Prix next month.

The Italian will not see the MotoGP season out with Yamaha, having won only 10 points from 11 rounds this year.

Dovizioso is 22nd in the championship standings after signing a full factory contract with the Iwata outfit for 2022 and has decided to quit after his home race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on September 4.

Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow will replace the 36-year-old for the final six rounds of the season, starting at the Aragon GP.

Lin Jarvis, managing director Yamaha Motor Racing, said: "I want to start by saying that, of course, we are all sad that Andrea will be leaving the sport earlier than expected. He is a big name in MotoGP, and he will be missed in the paddock.

"We considered ourselves very lucky last year that he was available and willing to join our MotoGP programme when Franky [Franco Morbidelli] switched to the Yamaha Factory Team thus creating the need for a replacement rider for the remainder of the 2021 season.

"Andrea's great expertise, experience, and methodical nature were of great interest to Yamaha and the RNF team and the project was fixed to include the full 2022 season.

"Unfortunately, Andrea has struggled to extract the maximum potential out of the M1 and thus the results have not been forthcoming, which has created understandable frustration for Andrea. Finally during the summer break, he confirmed to us his desire to retire before the end of the season.

"After mutual discussions it was deemed appropriate for Andrea to ride his final race in Misano at his home GP. Naturally, Yamaha will continue to give 'Dovi' their full support over the next three races. In the meantime, let's enjoy his last three GPs and celebrate in Misano the end of a spectacular career."

Dovizioso said: "I thank Lin for his words, I totally agree with them. In 2012, the experience with the Iwata manufacturer in MotoGP had been very positive for me and since then I have always thought that, sooner or later, I would have liked to have an official contract with Yamaha. This possibility presented itself, actually in a somewhat daring way, during 2021. I decided to give it a try because I strongly believed in this project and in the possibility of doing well.

"Unfortunately, in recent years the MotoGP has changed profoundly. The situation is very different since then: I have never felt comfortable with the bike, and I have not been able to make the most of its potential despite the precious and continuous help from the team and the whole of Yamaha. The results were negative, but beyond that, I still consider it a very important life experience. When there are so many difficulties, you need to have the ability to manage the situation and your emotions well.

"We did not reach the desired objectives, but the consultations with the Yamaha technicians and with those of my team have always been positive and constructive, both for them and for me. The relationship remained loyal and professionally interesting even in the most critical moments: it was not so obvious that that would happen.

"For all this and for their support, I thank Yamaha, my team and WithU, and the other sponsors involved in the project. It didn't go as we hoped, but it was right to try. My adventure will end in Misano, but the relationship with all the people involved in this challenge will remain intact forever. Thank you all.2

Dovizioso has won 24 races and has finished the season as a runner-up on three occasions in the premier class.

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