Catalunya 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.

Catalunya MotoGP: Quartararo claims fifth pole, Miller crashes

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 team-mate Franco Morbidelli’s first flying lap, the Italian edging ahead of Quartararo with a 1m39.274s.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

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.

Read Also:

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 team-mate 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 Tech3’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 sister Tech3 KTM of Danilo Petrucci and Avintia team-mate 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 will gain MotoGP concessions for 2022 without 2021 podium

Honda will gain MotoGP concessions for 2022 without 2021 podium
Load comments
Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant Plus

Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant

Danilo Petrucci’s days in MotoGP appear numbered, as KTM looks to completely reshuffle the Tech3 team for 2022. Though the Italian's 2021 season so far hasn’t been standout, the giant Italian covertly became a top runner in MotoGP across the last decade and brought with him a personality that world sport sorely needs more of

MotoGP
Jul 22, 2021
Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can’t be written off yet Plus

Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can’t be written off yet

Joan Mir’s defence of his MotoGP title has had an underwhelming start as Suzuki didn’t progress its championship-winning GSX-RR as much as its rivals did with their bikes over the winter. Speaking to Autosport, Mir lays out why his title defence has been stalled so far and why he’s confident title number two is still within reach

MotoGP
Jul 12, 2021
The Rossi replacement who’s become the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed Plus

The Rossi replacement who’s become the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed

It's been six years since Jorge Lorenzo gave Yamaha its last MotoGP title in 2015. Since his departure at the end of 2016, Yamaha's form has been inconsistent but it has at last found a new talisman to return it to the top spot in the form of a precociously talented Frenchman who currently leads the standings

MotoGP
Jul 6, 2021
Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties Plus

Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties

On Monday Yamaha announced it will part ways with Maverick Vinales at the end of the 2021 season - a move requested by the rider. As the already strained relationship between both parties in MotoGP hit rock bottom in recent weeks, this divorce - as ORIOL PUIGDEMONT writes - is good for both Yamaha and Vinales for a number of reasons

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2021
The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption Plus

The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption

A decade after first linking up with Ducati in what turned out to be an ill-fated period in his MotoGP career, Valentino Rossi has joined forces with the Italian marque once more - this time as a team owner. And the VR46/Ducati tie-up beginning in 2022 has the potential to right the wrongs of Rossi and Ducati's nadir of 2011/2012

MotoGP
Jun 24, 2021
Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi Plus

Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi

With Valentino Rossi’s next career move imminent in MotoGP, it is set to have wide-reaching influences on a number of riders and teams on the grid. But one of the biggest impacts will be felt at Yamaha, with its pivotal role in the saga set to see it lose its appointment with ‘The Doctor’

MotoGP
Jun 22, 2021
How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win Plus

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win

Marc Marquez has been through hell and back in the 581 days between his win in the 2019 Valencia season finale and his heroic MotoGP comeback victory in Germany last Sunday. Despite battling physical limitations and a difficult 2021-spec Honda, the Sachsenring provided the perfect storm for the Spaniard to return to the top step

MotoGP
Jun 21, 2021
Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Plus

Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021