21 years waiting: Aprilia return to the front row

It was Jeremy McWilliams in Australia then, it’s Aleix Espargaro in Germany now…


The electric weekend of action at the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland is reaching its climax, with racing just around the corner. However, after a titanic Saturday saw one of the most dramatic qualifying sessions of the year, there’s plenty to get our teeth into. Aprilia’s wait for a front row is over, Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) goes from pole in his pursuit of a first premier class win, and plenty more to look out for. Find out what you need to know ahead of lights-out on Sunday!

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing, Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland

1. Johann Zarco has qualified on pole for the sixth time in MotoGP™ and the 25th time overall in his Grand Prix career. This is Zarco’s first pole since the Czech GP last year and the second pole for a French rider in the premier class at the Sachsenring, along with Olivier Jacque back in 2002 (on a two-stroke Yamaha, the last pole of the two-strokes in the premier class).

2. With Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) in Qatar, Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) in Doha and now Johann Zarco in Germany, this is the first time there are three different Ducati riders who’ve taken least one pole in the same MotoGP™ season since 2018 (with Andrea Dovizioso, Jorge Lorenzo and Jack Miller).

3. On pole over the last five races, Fabio Quartararo has qualified second for his 29th front row start (on what is his 41st race in MotoGP:tm:). Over his 28 previous front-row starts, he went on to finish on the podium 13 times (including five of his six premier class wins so far).

4. With Johann Zarco and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), this is only the second French 1-2 in a premier class qualifying along with Brno last year with the same riders (since 1974 when pole position begun to be officially recorded).

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland

5. Aleix Espargaro has qualified third for the first front row for Aprilia since Jeremy McWilliams was on pole position at the 2000 Australian GP, and therefore the factory’s best qualifying in the MotoGP™ era. It’s also Aleix Espargaro’s best qualifying since he was second at the 2015 Dutch TT (then riding a Suzuki).

6. With Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) in fifth as the highest-placed Honda rider, this is the first time there is no Honda rider on the front row in MotoGP™ at the Sachsenring since 2009.

7. Winner at the Catalan GP, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) has qualified in sixth which is the second successive time he starts from the front two rows. In addition, this the best qualifying result for KTM in MotoGP™ at the Sachsenring.

8. Jorge Martin is seventh as top rookie for his best qualifying since he took pole in Doha earlier this year.

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki Ecstar, Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland

9. Reigning Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) has qualified 17th, which is his worst qualifying of the season so far.

10. After failing to join Q2, Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) has qualified in 21st for his worst qualifying result since he stepped up to MotoGP™ in 2015. He finished on the podium in the last two MotoGP™ races held at the Sachsenring.

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