MotoGP British GP: Zarco snatches pole, Espargaro sixth after FP4 crash

Pramac’s Johann Zarco took pole for the MotoGP British Grand Prix with a new lap record as Aleix Espargaro fought to sixth after a massive crash in FP4.

MotoGP British GP: Zarco snatches pole, Espargaro sixth after FP4 crash

A closing salvo of fast laps saw Fabio Quartararo, Jack Miller and Johann Zarco in quick succession take over top spot, but it was the latter’s 1m57.767s – a new lap record at Silverstone – which stood for the Frenchman’s second pole of 2022.

Drama struck Espargaro before qualifying got underway when he suffered a 115mph crash at Farm Curve during FP4.

The Aprilia rider was taken to the medical centre for checks having been stretchered off-track, but was soon declared fit to ride despite suffering some bruising to his right foot.

His initial run put him last in the Q2 group in 12th with a lap 1.6s off the pace, but he returned to pitlane for fresh rubber and saw out the session.

Pramac’s Jorge Martin laid down the gauntlet on his opening time attack lap with a 1m58.377s, was his team-mate Johann Zarco slotted in behind 0.053 seconds adrift.

Championship leader Quartararo took over moments later with a 1m58.259s to lead the field over MotoGP’s longest lap by just 0.001s as Jack Miller on the factory Ducati shadowed him.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

On his second run, Espargaro began to light up the timing screens and produced the first new lap record of the day with a 1m57.966s to take provisional pole.

His heroics would not be rewarded with a front row start, however, as he found himself shuffled back to a still honourable sixth.

Quartararo briefly went pole with a 1m57.938s, before Miller – shadowing the Yamaha rider – snatched it away with a 1m57.931s.

But it was the 1m57.767s from Zarco which won qualifying Saturday at Silverstone, the Frenchman just 0.098s clear of the sister Aprilia of Maverick Vinales after a later surge from the 2016 British GP winner.

Quartararo ultimately found himself shuffled off the front row into fourth come the final reckoning, which will complicate his strategy for the race when he has to serve a long lap penalty for a collision with Aleix Espargaro at Assen in June before the summer break.

Francesco Bagnaia completed the top five on the sister factory team Ducati ahead of Espargaro, with Marco Bezzecchi seventh on his VR46 Ducati having come through the Q1 session.

He headed Q1 pacesetter Enea Bastianini by 0.005s in eighth, with the Gresini Ducati rider outqualifying Martin, Luca Marini on the sister VR46 bike and Suzuki duo Alex Rins and Joan Mir.

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

A tense end to the Q1 session led to disappointment for KTM as Bezzecchi’s late improvement to get into Q2 denied Brad Binder a place in the pole shootout session.

Binder was further demoted by KTM team-mate Miguel Oliveira, who will start 13th after missing Q2 by just 0.097s.

Fabio Di Giannantonio was shuffled back to 15th at the end of Q1 on his Gresini Ducati ahead of Tech3 KTM rider Remy Gardner in his best qualifying result of his rookie season in 16th.

Alex Marquez was left disgruntled with Marco Bezzecchi after the pair got too close for comfort on track up at Stowe while the former was pushing for a time attack lap, before crashing at Vale.

The LCR Honda rider got back out for the end of Q1, but will start as the top Honda runner in 17th ahead of factory duo Stefan Bradl – who is under investigation for blocking Bezzecchi at Luffield late on – and Pol Espargaro.

Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli occupied a Q2 spot in the early stages of Q1, but was demoted to 10th at the chequered flag ahead of LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami, Tech3’s Raul Fernandez – who suffered an engine failure in the preceding FP4 session – and RNF duo Darryn Binder and Andrea Dovizioso.

The 20-lap 2022 MotoGP British Grand Prix will get underway at 1pm local time on Sunday.

Full qualifying results:

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap Interval
1 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'57.767    
2 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 1'57.865 0.098 0.098
3 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 1'57.931 0.164 0.066
4 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'57.938 0.171 0.007
5 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'57.961 0.194 0.023
6 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'57.966 0.199 0.005
7 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 1'58.101 0.334 0.135
8 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'58.106 0.339 0.005
9 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 1'58.174 0.407 0.068
10 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 1'58.317 0.550 0.143
11 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'58.318 0.551 0.001
12 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1'58.543 0.776 0.225
shares
comments

Related video

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time
Previous article

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

Next article

Quartararo “had nothing more” for MotoGP Silverstone pole fight

Quartararo “had nothing more” for MotoGP Silverstone pole fight
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Plus

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022
The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader Plus

The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader

Coinciding with the arrival of Massimo Rivola as head of its MotoGP division, Aprilia has undergone an internal revolution that has spurred it from occupying last place in the team standings to leading the table in the space of just two years. Those entrenched in the project reveal how the ex-Ferrari F1 chief has achieved the dramatic turnaround

MotoGP
Jul 15, 2022
The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP Plus

The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP

Franco Morbidelli was long overdue a promotion to factory machinery when it finally came late last year, having finished runner-up in the 2020 standings on an old Yamaha package. But since then the Italian has been a shadow of his former self as he toils to adapt to the 2022 M1, and recognises that he needs to change his style to be quick on it

MotoGP
Jul 13, 2022
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022
How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022 Plus

How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022