Barcelona MotoGP: Quartararo beats Marquez to pole by 0.015s

Petronas Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo secured the second pole position of his rookie MotoGP season in qualifying in Barcelona.

Barcelona MotoGP: Quartararo beats Marquez to pole by 0.015s

Quartararo, who bagged his sole Moto2 win at the same venue last year and had arm pump surgery in the lead-up to this weekend, beat Honda's championship leader Marc Marquez by 0.015s.

Franco Morbidelli, who had suffered a heavy crash in the Saturday morning practice, had dominated the first qualifying segment, and took the early lead in Q2 with a 1m39.758s.

He and Quartararo had made it a Petronas Yamaha 1-2 after the first runs, and after the works Yamaha of Vinales then went 0.001s quicker than Morbidelli, Quartararo lowered the benchmark to a 1m49.484s.

Marquez slotted into second shortly afterwards, and while Quartararo came up a few hundredths short of his own benchmark on his final attempt, the reigning champion had a big moment at Turn 4 on his final effort and had to settle for second.

Vinales secured his first front row start since Argentina in third, ahead of fellow Yamaha riders Morbidelli – who couldn't improve on his second Q2 run – and Valentino Rossi.

Andrea Dovizioso moved up the order at the chequered flag to finish as the top Ducati in sixth, just ahead of works teammate Danilo Petrucci – who had been third in the order when he crashed at the Turn 5 left-hander.

Suzuki's Alex Rins, quickest in practice, was another rider left to rue a crash, falling at the sharp Turn 10 left-hander late on and consigning himself to eighth on the grid.

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, works Honda man Jorge Lorenzo, Rins' teammate Joan Mir and the KTM of Pol Espargaro completed a Q2 pecking order split by just 0.941s.

Pramac Ducati rider Jack Miller had set the initial pace in Q1, but crashed right afterwards at Turn 5.

The Aussie remounted his bike, returned to the pits, and would improve his laptime on his second run, but qualified only 14th – a place behind rookie teammate Francesco Bagnaia on the older-spec Desmosedici, the Italian having come up a tenth short of advancing to Q2 at Mir's expense.

After his impressive Friday showing, LCR's Takaaki Nakagami will only line up 16th on the grid, beaten also by the Avintia Ducati of Karel Abraham.

Aleix Espargaro qualified as the top Aprilia in 17th, with works teammate Andrea Iannone last on the grid – behind also the team's wildcard Bradley Smith – after his RS-GP slowed with a mechanical problem while exiting the pit garage on the second run.

Q2 results

Cla # Rider Bike Laps Time Gap
1 20 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 8 1'39.484
2 93 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 7 1'39.499 0.015
3 12 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 8 1'39.710 0.226
4 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 7 1'39.711 0.227
5 46 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 8 1'39.753 0.269
6 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati 8 1'39.777 0.293
7 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci
Ducati 7 1'39.844 0.360
8 42 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 6 1'39.870 0.386
9 35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow
Honda 7 1'40.151 0.667
10 99 Spain Jorge Lorenzo
Honda 7 1'40.199 0.715
11 36 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 7 1'40.240 0.756
12 44 Spain Pol Espargaro
KTM 7 1'40.425 0.941
shares
comments
Barcelona MotoGP: Rins tops FP3, Marquez angered by Lorenzo

Previous article

Barcelona MotoGP: Rins tops FP3, Marquez angered by Lorenzo

Next article

Lorenzo: "Most consistent" weekend down to Honda tweaks

Lorenzo: "Most consistent" weekend down to Honda tweaks
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Catalan GP
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Prime

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout.

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021