Espargaro storms to an emotional pole position as Martin crashes

The #41 continues to dominate proceedings at the Catalan GP and will start on pole positon ahead of Bagnaia and Fernandez with Martin down in P7

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) continues a perfect Saturday in Barcelona after setting a late lap to storm to pole position and break the lap record on his final lap at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. Joining the home hero on the front row will be reigning World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), who set a strong time from the start of Q2 to qualify 0.031s behind Espargaro's benchmark time. Rounding off the front row was Trackhouse Racing’s Raul Fernandez who will start from third on the grid after showing good pace in Free Practice 2 and Q2 and after having a lap reinstated.

Lap records are broken as Martin goes down

It was an extremely fast Q1 with Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) finding time late to earn a spot in Q2 – briefly claiming a new all-time lap record. Joining Di Giannantonio in Q2 was Fernandez who pushed the Gresini Racing MotoGP™’s Alex Marquez and Marc Marquez out of Q2. However, once a packed Q2 got underway it was Bagnaia who flew to the top of the timesheets after the first run, setting a 1:38.221 – a strong target.

In the closing minutes of the session, riders pushed to the limit with Binder finding time to jump to second. Meanwhile, it would be a disastrous end to the session for Prima Pramac Racing with Jorge Martin and Franco Morbidelli crashing at turn two just seconds apart. This brought out the yellow flags, cancelling lap times and forcing Espargaro to leave it late to storm to pole position on his final flying lap.

Some big names with work to do 

Heading the second row will be Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder, who will start in fourth after a strong end to the session for the South African and after the #25's lap was reinstated. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3), celebrates his 20th birthday on Saturday and will start the Catalan GP in fifth place - in the middle of the second row. Meanwhile, after also fighting from Q1, Di Giannantonio used all his experience from Q1 to start in sixth position in a strong result for the Italian.

Martin is down the order in seventh with plenty of work to do after losing the front at turn two - ending qualifying 0.211s adrift from the third row. Martin will start next to Alex Rins, who brought the only Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ Team bike in Q2 to eighth on the grid and will start ahead of Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), who rounds off the front three rows in ninth position - a further 0.071s behind Rins.

Further down the order, Marc Marquez will start down in 14th on the grid, leaving the #93 with work to do on Saturday and Sunday – qualifying on the fifth row for the second consecutive race weekend. Another two riders who will aim to charge from the field will be Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team’s Marco Bezzecchi and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ Team), who will start from 16th and 17th on the grid.

Make sure you don’t miss the Tissot Sprint with lights out at 15:00 local time (UTC +2), and with everything still up for grabs don’t miss any of the action on!

Top 10:

1 Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) 1:38.190
2 Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) +0.031
3 Raul Fernandez (Trackhouse Racing) +0.071
4 Brad Binder (Red Bull Factory Racing)  +0.144
5 Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) +0.179
6 Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team)  +0.210
7 Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) +0.211
8 Alex Rins (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™)  +0.502
9 Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.573
10 Franco Morbidelli (Prima Pramac Racing) +0.588




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