Barcelona MotoGP: Quartararo claims fifth pole, Miller crashes

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo has taken his fifth-straight MotoGP pole in a tense qualifying for the Catalan Grand Prix, beating Jack Miller who crashed late on.

No rider since Marc Marquez during his dominant 2014 season has scored five poles in a row, while no Yamaha rider since Jorge Lorenzo in 2010 achieved that feat before Quartararo ended that drought with a 1m38.853s in Q2 at Barcelona.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro set the initial benchmark at 1m39.834s, though this was immediately bettered by Quartararo with a 1m39.351s.

At the same time, Petronas SRT’s Valentino Rossi crashed at the Turn 4 right-hander on just his third Q2 appearance of the season.

This didn’t trouble SRT teammate Franco Morbidelli’s first flying lap, the Italian edging ahead of Quartararo with a 1m39.274s.

But Quartararo was flying on his second lap and stretched his advantage to 0.421s with a 1m38.853s at the end of the first run of laps.

Ducati’s Miller – who came through Q1 - put a lap together that almost dethroned Quartararo in the closings stages, the Australian firing in a 1m38.890s to move up to second and was up the first sector on his following lap when he crashed heavily at Turn 3.

Quartararo’s final lap was on course to be an improvement before it went away from him in the third sector.

This almost proved costly as Pramac’s Johann Zarco started to pile on the pressure on his final lap.

But Zarco couldn’t quite hook it together, jumping up to third to complete the front row ahead of KTM’s Miguel Oliveira and Morbidelli.

Maverick Vinales did hold a place on the front row at the end of the session, but the Yamaha rider was shuffled back to sixth at the death ahead of Aleix Espargaro and Brad Binder on the other factory KTM.

Francesco Bagnaia was ninth on his factory Ducati while Suzuki’s Joan Mir was dumped from third to 10th in the closing stages after his best lap was cancelled for exceeding track limits.

Rossi could only manage 11th after his early crash, while Pol Espargaro was 12th after crashing late on.

Marc Marquez picked Miller as his victim to follow in Q1 in his bid to lift himself into the pole shootout session.

But the Honda rider was ultimately denied by his teammate Pol Espargaro, with Marquez missing out by 0.011s in 13th ahead of LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami.

Jorge Martin was a solid 15th in his first qualifying session since the Doha GP at the start of April on the Pramac Ducati, with Tech 3’s Iker Lecuona stranded in 16th after a late crash at the Turn 9 right-hander.

Avintia rookie Enea Bastianini will start from 17th ahead of the second Tech 3 KTM of Danilo Petrucci and Avintia teammate Luca Marini, while Alex Marquez (LCR) and Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori round out the grid for Sunday’s 24 lap Catalan GP. 

Q2 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 20 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 1'38.853
2 43 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati 1'38.890 0.037
3 5 France Johann Zarco
Ducati 1'39.049 0.196
4 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
KTM 1'39.099 0.246
5 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 1'39.109 0.256
6 12 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 1'39.157 0.304
7 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 1'39.218 0.365
8 33 South Africa Brad Binder
KTM 1'39.343 0.490
9 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 1'39.359 0.506
10 36 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 1'39.431 0.578
11 46 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 1'39.605 0.752
12 44 Spain Pol Espargaro
Honda 1'41.791 2.938
shares
comments

Related video

Yamaha, SRT already looking at Rossi MotoGP replacements
Previous article

Yamaha, SRT already looking at Rossi MotoGP replacements

Next article

Honda could gain MotoGP concessions for 2022

Honda could gain MotoGP concessions for 2022
Load comments
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Prime

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Prime

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Prime

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo Prime

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Prime

What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano Prime

The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Prime

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Motorsport.com pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on.

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021