Motorcycling-Viñales bags pole for Emilia Romagna race as Bagnaia penalised

Sept 19 (Reuters) - Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales took pole position for Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after a dramatic final qualifying session on Saturday in which Pramac Racing’s pace-setter Francesco Bagnaia was penalised for exceeding track limits.

Viñales, whose all-time Misano lap record set before last week’s San Marino race was then erased by Bagnaia during the third free practice, blazed the circuit during the final qualifying session to set another new mark of one minute, 31.077 seconds.

The 25-year-old Spaniard - who also took pole last weekend - went 0.076 seconds faster than Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller, while Petronas Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo completed the front row.

Bagnaia will now start fifth after the Italian touched the green while coming out of the final corner, forcing officials to cancel his blistering final lap.

Ducati’s championship leader Andrea Dovizioso could only manage 10th following a disappointing effort in qualifying.

Petronas Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli won the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano last weekend, while Dovizioso finished seventh to leapfrog Quartararo and take the lead in the world championship with 76 points.

The first six rounds of the COVID-19-hit 2020 season have produced five different winners, with Quartararo claiming the opening two races in Jerez. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)