Filippo Farioli slapped down the Italian gauntlet, taking the Mugello Rookies Cup pole ahead of Angel Piqueras and Luca Lunetta with a sensational final two laps. It sets the scene for a historical first home country win at the Tuscan venue.
It had looked like fellow countryman Lunetta would be fastest as the 16-year-old hit the front 11 minutes into the 25 minute session. It was a hot afternoon and perhaps tyre performance was past it’s best as the quick times stopped coming.
Then, with just a few minutes remaining, the intensity ramped up again. Spanish 15-year-old Piqueras hit the front, ousted a few seconds later by 17-year-old Farioli.
Lunetta was circulating alone and not lapping that quickly while Farioli and Piqueras were in the slipstreaming pack. Farioli’s split times for the final lap were sensational, going into the final section he was 7 tenths quicker than his own lead time….
Farioli hangs it out and hangs on
“I was really pushing, I felt great on the bike and enjoying myself. I felt it was a quick lap and I wanted to do the maximum. I opened the gas through the last corner and the back came round, I almost had a huge high-side but managed to catch it.”
“It feels great to be on pole here at home, I am so enjoying it, the bike is great and I can’t wait to do two races. I will try and get away but I know it won’t be easy.”
Lunetta ready for the battle
“Filippo and I are good friends, we have been racing together for many years, since PreMoto3 in Italy in 2019, I won, he was 3rd. It is always close between us a lot of battles and we have great fun, it should be two good races.”
“I managed what we wanted to do through practice, in Free Practice I was not so happy with the bike and I struggled a bit but we worked on it and thanks to the staff who really helped the bike was great for Qualifying. We had a strategy, we went for a lap time early when I knew the tyres would be good and I did the last laps on my own.”
Piqueras happy to be at the front
“It is good to be on the front row, it’s a new track for me and a difficult track so I am happy that I could manage that, it’s very positive.”
“The bike is good, not perfect, these corners are fast and put a lot of pressure on the suspension so it is very had to get it to work perfectly, in some places it is not perfect.”
Cup points leader José Rueda heads second row
“I’m more or less happy with that. It’s my first time in Mugello and the track is cool but really not easy. It is very hard to get the set-up right here.”
“We will talk about the bike now and see if we can change some small thing to make it better for tomorrow or not. I think there is more to come in the races.”
Collin Veijer stiff but fast
A heavy fall in FP1 left the 17-year-old Dutchman not moving too much on the bike but he still qualified 5th. “I am pretty stiff, I can’t turn around to see who is behind, that’s for sure.”
“I ran alone in FP2 and the pace was not so bad, I’ve never felt as good as that running on my own so I was very pleased.”
“Qualifying was still difficult but in the end I just had to push on and I did put in a good lap and I’m happy with that.”
“I have to thank the Rookies team and my dad for all the hard work repairing a badly damaged bike and it was really good in Qualifying.”
This weekend’s Rookies Cup races can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on TV stations around the world.
Race 1 is at 17:25 CET on Saturday and Race 2 is on Sunday at 16:30, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.
For more info checkout our dedicated Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup News page Rookies Cup News
Or visit the official Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup website rookiescup.redbull.com/