British MotoGP: Espargaro puts Honda on pole ahead of Bagnaia

Pol Espargaro snatched a first MotoGP pole position as a Honda rider in a British Grand Prix qualifying that ended in confusing fashion following a false pole for Jorge Martin. 

British MotoGP: Espargaro puts Honda on pole ahead of Bagnaia

Pramac rookie Martin was clocked at posting a 1m58.008s lap at the end of Q2 which smashed the lap record and put him over eight tenths clear of the field.

However, this lap was eventually scrubbed after the chequered flag when that time was incorrectly registered after Martin cut the chicane at the Vale section of the Silverstone circuit.

Suzuki’s Joan Mir set the early benchmark at the start of Q2 with a 2m00.237s, with the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro shadowing him by 0.020s.

Jack Miller dropped the lap times into the 1m59s with a 1m59.640s on his factory Ducati, but Quartararo blew this out of the water with his first flying lap.

The factory Yamaha rider set the fastest lap of the weekend to that point with a 1m58.990s, Quartararo’s advantage standing at 0.270s over Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia at the conclusion of the first runs.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

With just over 30 seconds left on the clock Honda’s Espargaro fired in a 1m58.889s to snatch pole position away from Quartararo, with the Yamaha rider shuffled back to third by Bagnaia.

After the confusion over Martin’s lap was corrected, Espargaro was promoted back to a first pole for Honda amidst a difficult season for the Japanese manufacturer.

He heads Bagnaia by 0.022s, with championship leader Quartararo completing the top three.

It marks Honda's first pole in MotoGP since Aragon 2020, and the first for the Repsol Honda squad since 2019. 

Martin was initially dropped back to sixth once the timing screens had been corrected, but was then pushed up to fourth ahead of the sister factory Honda of Marc Marquez and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro.

Miller was shuffled back to seventh come the chequered flag ahead of Petronas SRT’s Valentino Rossi and Q1 pacesetter Johann Zarco on the Pramac Ducati.

Suzuki’s Alex Rins, who also came through Q1, beat team-mate Mir by 0.124s in 10th, with KTM’s Brad Binder rounding out the top 12.

Avintia rookie Enea Bastianini was on course to progress into Q2 for the first time, but a late crash at Farm curve in Q1 resigned him to 13th following improvements for Rins and Zarco.

Bastianini will head team-mate Luca Marini on their two-year-old Ducatis, while LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami could do no better than 15th on his works Honda.

Danilo Pertucci was 16th on the Tech3 KTM ahead of Alex Marquez on the sister LCR Honda, while home hero Cal Crutchlow was only 19th on the factory Yamaha behind the sister Tech3 KTM of Iker Lecuona.

The struggling Miguel Oliveira will line up a disappointing 20th on the factory KTM, with Jake Dixon making his first ever MotoGP start from 21st on the SRT Yamaha. 

Q2 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 44 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 1'58.889  
2 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'58.911 0.022
3 20 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'58.925 0.036
4 89 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 1'59.074 0.185
5 93 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 1'59.086 0.197
6 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'59.273 0.384
7 43 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 1'59.368 0.479
8 46 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'59.531 0.642
9 5 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'59.579 0.690
10 42 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'59.639 0.750
11 36 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1'59.763 0.874
12 33 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 1'59.977 1.088

Q1 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 5 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'59.288  
2 42 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'59.509 0.221
3 23 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'59.553 0.265
4 10 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 1'59.764 0.476
5 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'59.881 0.593
6 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'59.997 0.709
7 73 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 2'00.117 0.829
8 27 Spain Iker Lecuona KTM 2'00.131 0.843
9 35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2'00.217 0.929
10 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 2'00.391 1.103
11 96 United Kingdom Jake Dixon Yamaha 2'00.869 1.581
shares
comments

Related video

SRT has offered Xavi Vierge MotoGP debut at Aragon
Previous article

SRT has offered Xavi Vierge MotoGP debut at Aragon

Next article

“Shocking” maiden Honda MotoGP pole “like a victory” – Pol Espargaro

“Shocking” maiden Honda MotoGP pole “like a victory” – Pol Espargaro
The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form Plus

The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form

Following Suzuki's decision to quit MotoGP, both of its former riders have landed at Honda for 2023. But perhaps its biggest signing from the now-defunct team could instead be a highly-rated technical manager. Is Ken Kawauchi the right man at the right time to steer HRC back to glory?

MotoGP
Jan 26, 2023
How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team Plus

How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team

Suzuki's unexpected departure left more than 40 professionals virtually jobless for the 2023 MotoGP season. But that human drama has been successfully corrected by the paddock itself, with most former Suzuki crew-members absorbed into other operations

MotoGP
Jan 14, 2023
How one MotoGP team went from title fights to losing it all in four years Plus

How one MotoGP team went from title fights to losing it all in four years

The Petronas Sepang Racing Team came into MotoGP with a bang in 2019 as regular front-runners, with wonder rookie Fabio Quartararo mounting a title challenge in 2020. But it all went wrong for the Razlan Razali-helmed squad as the team changed hands and tumbled down the order - and RNF Racing plans to right this in 2023

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2023
Is MotoGP's comeback king ready to reclaim his throne? Plus

Is MotoGP's comeback king ready to reclaim his throne?

Marc Marquez’s sixth premier MotoGP title seems a long time ago given the injury woes he has faced in the three years since. At the end of a fraught 2022, in which he had a fourth major operation on his right arm, the Spaniard speaks exclusively to Autosport

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2022
How MotoGP’s underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023 Plus

How MotoGP’s underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023

As European manufacturers emerged as the strongest force in 2022 in a changing of the guard for MotoGP, one powerhouse couldn’t quite match the feats of Ducati and Aprilia. Its motorsport chief tells Autosport why this is and what it is doing to become a consistent frontrunner in the class of kings

MotoGP
Dec 20, 2022
How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races Plus

How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races

With the expansion of the calendar to 21 grands prix and the introduction of sprint races, the 2023 MotoGP season will take the riders to almost 1,300 kilometres of competition more than this year, a factor that forces adjustments in their physical preparations.

MotoGP
Dec 9, 2022
The Ducati rider who is much more than just the brother of a MotoGP legend Plus

The Ducati rider who is much more than just the brother of a MotoGP legend

Surname pressure is something many have had to deal with in their motorsport careers. And while Luca Marini doesn’t have that, his familial relation and the team he rides for in MotoGP have cast a brighter spotlight on his progress. But, as he has shown in 2022 – and as he reveals to Autosport – Marini is so much more than just the brother of a legend

MotoGP
Dec 6, 2022
Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022