Jerez MotoGP: Quartararo leads Petronas Yamaha 1-2 in qualifying

MotoGP rookie Fabio Quartararo claimed a shock maiden premier-class pole position at Jerez, leading a Petronas SRT Yamaha 1-2 with teammate Franco Morbidelli.

Jerez MotoGP: Quartararo leads Petronas Yamaha 1-2 in qualifying

Quartararo posted the new fastest-ever MotoGP lap of Jerez as he and Morbidelli surpassed the early leader of Q2, reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez.

Opting for a three-run strategy in Q2, Marquez recorded just a single flying lap on his opening run, a 1m36.970s, which was enough to leave him top of the timesheets as he returned to the pits.

Only Morbidelli came close to matching him initially, lapping 0.041s slower than Marquez but almost a quarter of a second up on the rest of the chasing pack.

But after the reigning champion was unable to improve on his second attempt, Quartararo fired in a 1m36.880s, matching Marquez exactly through the first three sectors and finding 0.082s in the final sequence of corners.

With the chequered flag approaching, Morbidelli shuffled Marquez down into third place, outpacing the Honda man by 0.008s.

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso was up on Quartararo's provisional pole time three sectors into his best effort, but ultimately came up 0.138s short.

Maverick Vinales was the best of the works Yamahas in fifth, having advanced from Q1, and will share the second row with fourth-placed Dovizioso and sixth-placed Cal Crutchlow.

Dovizioso's practice pace-setter teammate Danilo Petrucci took seventh, crashing at Turn 1 on his final lap, ahead of Crutchlow's LCR Honda teammate Takaaki Nakagami and Suzuki's Alex Rins, while Pramac Ducati rookie Pecco Bagnaia made up a top 10 split by 0.504s.

Marquez's Honda teammate Jorge Lorenzo crashed at Turn 2 late on and had to settle for 11th, while the other Suzuki of Joan Mir made up the order in Q2.

While Vinales had been relatively comfortable advancing to the pole shoot-out, his factory squadmate Valentino Rossi was consigned to 13th on the grid, despite having led Vinales by 0.007s after their first runs in Q1.

As Vinales improved by just over two tenths, Rossi's protege Bagnaia slotted in between the Yamahas shortly before time expired, and the seven-time MotoGP champion was unable to respond and avoid an early qualifying exit.

Honda wildcard Stefan Bradl was just a tenth away from advancing to Q2, securing 14th on the grid ahead of Bagnaia's Pramac teammate Jack Miller – who crashed at Turn 2 on his final lap.

Aleix Espargaro led Aprilia's efforts in 16th, while squadmate Andrea Iannone had crashed early in the pre-qualifying FP4 session and was forced out of action for the rest of the day.

Iannone paid a visit to the Clinica Mobile paddock facility for x-rays on his left ankle, although these showed he'd escaped a fracture.

Espargaro's brother Pol was again the benchmark for KTM in 17th, albeit this time only 0.022s clear of Johann Zarco.

Qualifying results

Cla Rider Bike Laps Time Gap km/h
1 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 8 1'36.880 164.355
2 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 8 1'36.962 0.082 164.216
3 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 8 1'36.970 0.090 164.203
4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati 7 1'37.018 0.138 164.122
5 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 8 1'37.114 0.234 163.959
6 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow
Honda 9 1'37.175 0.295 163.856
7 Italy Danilo Petrucci
Ducati 7 1'37.209 0.329 163.799
8 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
Honda 8 1'37.332 0.452 163.592
9 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 7 1'37.351 0.471 163.560
10 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 8 1'37.384 0.504 163.505
11 Spain Jorge Lorenzo
Honda 5 1'37.496 0.616 163.317
12 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 7 1'37.514 0.634 163.287
shares
comments
Jerez MotoGP - qualifying as it happened

Previous article

Jerez MotoGP - qualifying as it happened

Next article

Quartararo: "Incredible" to repay SRT Yamaha's faith

Quartararo: "Incredible" to repay SRT Yamaha's faith
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Spanish GP
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
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
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Prime

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice.

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue Prime

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Prime

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021
Why Lorenzo needs to ditch social media and enjoy retirement Prime

Why Lorenzo needs to ditch social media and enjoy retirement

OPINION: Jorge Lorenzo's status as one of the greatest MotoGP riders of all time is hard to dispute. But his constant social media spats with fellow riders and insistence on listing his achievements to his detractors are running the risk of tarnishing a legacy he worked hard to create.

MotoGP
Mar 20, 2021