Francesco Bagnaia blasts through Q2 to take the first pole of the season.
The Ducati Lenovo Team rider stole the show tonight, being the sole rider to hit the 1:52s, Bagnaia started the session strong, taking the top spot within the first few minutes, and survived the Top 6 battle to claim his first pole in MotoGP, as well as break the Lap Record.
Joining the front row alongside Pecco are the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP duo, with Fabio Quartararo in second and Maverick Viñales in third. Quartararo’s 1:53.038 stuck for a lot of the session, hitting first place before pitting in, and maintaining it until broken by Pecco in the final 40 seconds. Viñales follows his teammate by just 0.05 seconds.
Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Valentino Rossi will head the second row, taking P4 in the final minute with a 1:53.114, becoming the top independent rider of the session.
Breaking up the Yamahas on the grid are Jack Miller and Johann Zarco, who round out the second row in 5thand 6th positions. Despite this result, Miller’s strength this weekend so far surely makes him a contender for the podium tomorrow, making it a somewhat naïve move to bet against the Aussie. The same can also be said for Pramac Racing’s Zarco, who has only continued to show improvement throughout the weekend.
The final Yamaha will start from 7th tomorrow, as Franco Morbidelli failed to protect his provisional P5 in the final seconds of the session, with Miller taking 5th before the chequered flag, and Zarco stealing 6th afterwards.
Aleix Espargaro sits in 8th ahead of tomorrow, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider staying in the mix of the battle to the end, but becoming another rider to lose out to Zarco in the final moments.
The Suzuki ECSTAR duo are in for a tough ride tomorrow, as Alex Rins rounds out the third row in 9th, and the reigning champ Joan Mir is set to lead the 4th row in P10.
Takaaki Nakagami leads the Hondas on the grid, as the LCR Honda Idemitsu rider follows behind Mir in P11, while a lacklustre Q2 from Repsol Honda’s Pol Espargaro puts the Spaniard in 12th position.
Despite not making the Q2 cut, Esponsorama Racing’s Enea Bastianini could be a force to be reckoned with. As another rider who has shown promise this weekend, Bastianini missed out on Q2 by just 0.005 of a second, putting the Italian in P13 for tomorrow; followed by fellow rookie Jorge Martin in 14th, while Bastianini’s teammate Luca Marini will start in 18th.
The KTM squad have had a considerably disappointing qualifying session, with all four riders starting towards the back of the grid. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Miguel Oliveira is the best of the bunch, as the Portuguese man takes 15th, while teammate Brad Binder takes 19th – after LCR’s Alex Marquez, Repsol’s Bradl and Esponsorama’s Marini. The Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing pair Danilo Petrucci and Iker lecuona take P20 and P21, respectively, as Aprilia’s Lorenxo Savadori rounds out the grid in 22nd place.
With the grid’s Top 11 riders being within just one second of one another, it’s anyone’s game come Race Day; all we can do is wait and see.
MotoGP’s Race will begin at 20:00 Local Time (GMT +3).
Feature Photo: MotoGP.com