Francesco Bagnaia showed his power to secure MotoGP pole in Catalan GP after record-breaking lap ahead of Aleix Espargaro and Miguel Oliveira.
The first part in MotoGP qualifying in Catalan GP saw dry weather running where RNF Aprilia’s Miguel Oliveira set the pace early on with a 1m39.510s as he led Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli who displaced teammate Fabio Quartararo.
In fact, Quartararo set the same time as Honda’s Marc Marquez but he was third with the Spaniard in fourth from VR46 Ducati’s Luca Marini. There was a slow crash for Quartararo at Turn 1 when he tumbled down on the gravel at Turn 1 but was able to continue on.
The second run changed the order where KTM’s Jack Miller went quickest but Marquez jumped him taking the slipstream. However, Oliveira jumped them both with a 1m39.789s lap to go quickest from the Honda rider with both making it in Q2.
Miller had to settle for third and start from 13th ahead of GASGAS Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro with RNF’s Raul Fernandez in 15th from the Yamaha pair of Morbidelli and Quartararo. Behind them, it was Marini in a low-key 18th position.
While Marquez made it inside Q2, the rest of the Honda riders filled up the last row with Joan Mir in 19th from LCR Honda pair of Takaaki Nakagami and Iker Lecuona to round out the 22 MotoGP runners in Catalan GP.
The second part in MotoGP qualifying in Catalan GP saw Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales lead the way after their first run with a 1m39.099s lap as KTM’s Brad Binder split the Aprilia riders by slotting himself in second where Aleix Espargaro was in third.
Vinales was initially quickest but Espargaro and Binder bettered him until Vinales came back on him. Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia was fourth from Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin in the Top 5. The final run changed the order with Bagnaia taking charge.
The reigning MotoGP champion set a record-breaking 1m38.639s lap to secure pole in Catalan GP ahead of Espargaro who couldn’t beat him on his final push lap. Oliveira was third after coming through Q2 as he cleared Marquez in the final corner to third.
Vinales was fourth to make it Aprilia 2-3-4 with Martin in fifth after he was seemingly held up by Marquez. His teammate Johann Zarco was sixth from Gresini Ducati pair of Alex Marquez and Fabio di Ginanantonio in a good show by them.
After showing good pace early on, Binder was only seventh from VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi, Ducati’s Enea Bastianini and Marquez in the Top 12. Bastianini has a 3-place grid drop for irresponsible riding and will drop to 14th for the race.
The world champ does it again! 👏
But behind three Aprilias will be looking to make amends in the #TissotSprint! 🏃♂️
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) September 2, 2023