Fabio Quartararo of team Petronas Yamaha SRT has claimed back-to-back MotoGP pole positions at Jerez thanks to a 1:37.007 in Q2 at the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucia.
Quartararo takes another MotoGP pole
His Yamaha colleague Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) set a faster lap than the Championship leading Frenchman, but his lap was cancelled due to exceeding track limits.
Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) picked up his maiden front-row start alongside Viñales and the championship leader.
After riding in Free practice four, reigning world champion Marq Marquez pulled out of the race. He had been passed fit to compete having fractured his humerus in last Sunday's Grand Prix but the rider and team announced he would not race after all.
Binder cracks Q2
South African rider Brad Binder joined in the second qualifying session for the first time in his MotoGP career setting the early standard before the pace quickened.
Binder will start ninth on the grid three places ahead of Red Bull works teammate Pol Espargaro.
Late in the Q2 session Spanish GP polesitter and winner Quartararo slotted into P2, before Bagnaia split the Yamaha riders as the Italian improved again. Heading into the pitlane, Viñales led Bagnaia and Quartararo by two tenths, with Binder, Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and Q1 graduate Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) sitting on the provisional second row.
The clock ticked down, fresh tyres were slotted in and Quartararo was the first man to shoot out of pitlane for run number two. The MotoGP sophomore had one thing and one thing only in his sights – pole position. And on his first flying lap, the red sectors were lighting up next to Quartararo's name and sure enough, 'El Diablo' was P1 by just under a tenth.
Espargaro had crashed at Turn two, Viñales' first flying lap on his second run couldn't count because of the yellow flags. Unaffected by the yellow flags, Bagnaia – closely followed by Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) – improved his time to strengthen his claim of a first front row start, with The Doctor climbing to P5 before Nakagami displaced the nine-time World Champion in P5.
Viñales was the man we needed to watch, though. The factory YZR-M1 star was a tenth under Quartararo's pole time at the second time split but coming out of Turn 7, Viñales was a centimetre too wide and was on the green asphalt. The Spanish GP runner-up completed his lap and beat Quartararo's time, but Race Direction immediately scrubbed the lap and Viñales stayed second, handing Quartararo his eighth MotoGP pole position – his third consecutive in Jerez.
Bagnaia went one better than last weekend to cementing P3, his best-ever premier class qualifying, with Rossi following his VR46 Academy man to earn a P4 starting slot for Sunday's race.
After ending Q1 fastest, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) earns his best MotoGP qualifying position in P5 after jumping up to P4 on his last lap. The Portuguese man got knocked back a place after Rossi improved, but Oliveira will be launching off the line as the leading KTM rider – a phenomenal effort.
Andalucia MotoGP Q2 classification
|1||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||FRA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||283.4||1'37.007||[/td]|
|12||Maverick VIÑALES||SPA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||284.2||1'37.102||0.095 / 0.095|
|3||63||Francesco BAGNAIA||ITA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||291.1||1'37.176||0.169 / 0.074|
|4||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||286.4||1'37.342||0.335 / 0.166|
|5||88||Miguel OLIVEIRA||POR||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||287.2||1'37.344||0.337 / 0.002|
|6||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||283.4||1'37.412||0.405 / 0.068|
|7||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Pramac Racing||Ducati||290.3||1'37.423||0.416 / 0.011|
|8||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||283.4||1'37.464||0.457 / 0.041|
|9||33||Brad BINDER||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||284.2||1'37.596||0.589 / 0.132|
|10||36||Joan MIR||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||286.4||1'37.600||0.593 / 0.004|
|11||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||289.5||1'37.906||0.899 / 0.306|
|12||44||Pol ESPARGARO||SPA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||282.7||1'40.277||3.270 / 2.371|