While MotoGP in general and the extremely partisan crowd at Italy's Misano World Circuit will have to make do without seeing Valentino Rossi line up on the starting grid for the San Marino Grand Prix, the battle for the riders' world championship will continue unabated.
Qualifying saw Rossi's upstart new Yamaha teammate - who has placed higher eight times in the nine races where both have been classified - Maverick Vinales pulled off a late surprise in qualifying for the San Marino GP as he shot ahead of this year's surprise world championship leader Andrea Dovizioso in the time sheets.
Honda's Marc Marquez had been trying to leapfrog both the Ducati of Dovizioso and Vinales at the end of the second of two qualifying sessions when he crashed out, leaving him third but still on the front row of the starting grid.
The four free practice sessions leading up to qualifying had suggested a strong race pace for Marquez but as has been the case in MotoGP on many occasions, the desperation of riders to get as high up the grid as possible leads to riders going for the ultimate one-lap pace. Race pace is hardly a consideration as riders dance on the edge of adhesion and no one personifies this better than Marquez.
The defending world champion always looks on the verge of crashing at Misano he went over the edge.
1Nevertheless, Dovizioso and Marquez being 0.162 and 0.197 seconds off Vinales' time of 1min32.439sec around the 4.226km circuit augurs well for those hoping to see fireworks at the start of the race.
LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow, Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo and the exciting Johann Zarco of the Tech 3 Yamaha squad make up the second row with Honda's Dani Pedrosa, Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci, Aprillia's Aleix Espargaro and Aspar Ducati's Alvaro Bautista complete the top ten.