Aragon MotoGP: Marquez beats Quartararo to pole

Marc Marquez took pole for MotoGP's Aragon Grand Prix by 0.327 seconds, though did come under threat from Fabio Quartararo in the closing stages of qualifying.

Aragon MotoGP: Marquez beats Quartararo to pole

The Honda rider was over a second clear of the field after Friday’s practices, and duly delivered on his status as favourite for his ninth pole of the year ahead of his 200th grand prix start with a blistering final effort of 1m47.009s.

It was Q1 pacesetter Franco Morbidelli who set the initial pace in Q2 aboard the Petronas Yamaha, before being demoted by Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller and the works Yamaha of Maverick Vinales.

Miller bettered Vinales’s 1m48.159s on his follow-up tour with a 1m47.862s, with Quartararo on the sister Petronas bike soon edging ahead.

However, their laptimes paled into insignificance as Marquez put in his first flying lap of 1m47.050s to go almost eight tenths clear of the field.

The reigning champion managed to go slightly quicker on his last effort with a 1m47.009s.

But Quartararo, who battled hard with Marquez for victory at Misano, came through the first two sectors fastest of all and held a slight advantage as he came through the third sector.

He couldn’t hold that slender lead, however, and missed out on pole by 0.327s to take second.

This demoted Vinales to third and Miller off the front row, while Aleix Espargaro shadowed Marquez to secure Aprilia's first top five qualifying result since last year’s Catalan GP.

Valentino Rossi completes row two on the sister works Yamaha ahead of LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow, Morbidelli, Joan Mir (Suzuki) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati).

Andrea Iannone ensured two Aprilias would make it into Q2 for the first time since the split qualifying format was introduced. He was last of the 11 runners present in Q2, as Pol Espargaro has been forced to sit out the rest of the weekend after fracturing his left wrist.

Q1: Rins, Petrucci eliminated

Alex Rins was the big-name scalp in Q1, the Suzuki rider missing out on a place inside the pole shootout by just over a tenth of a second.

He attempted to replicate the strategy teammate Mir used on Friday to secure a Q2 berth in FP2 in using the hard rear tyre for his final run, but came up short with a 1m48.449s.

LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami shadowed him in 14th ahead of the works Ducati of Danilo Petrucci and his Pramac counterpart Francesco Bagnaia.

Johann Zarco’s KTM replacement Mika Kallio held fifth for much of the session, but was dropped back to ninth in the end.

He will start his first race since last year’s Catalan GP in 19th, having outpaced Honda’s Jorge Lorenzo by two tenths.

Q2 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 93 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 1'47.009  
2 20 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'47.336 0.327
3 12 Spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'47.472 0.463
4 43 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 1'47.658 0.649
5 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'47.733 0.724
6 46 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'48.015 1.006
7 35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'48.322 1.313
8 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'48.372 1.363
9 36 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1'48.458 1.449
10 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'48.608 1.599
11 29 Italy Andrea Iannone Aprilia 1'49.240 2.231
  44 Spain Pol Espargaro KTM    

Q1 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'48.292  
2 29 Italy Andrea Iannone Aprilia 1'48.330 0.038
3 42 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'48.449 0.157
4 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'48.477 0.185
5 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'48.682 0.390
6 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'48.748 0.456
7 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'48.827 0.535
8 53 Spain Tito Rabat Ducati 1'48.916 0.624
9 82 Finland Mika Kallio KTM 1'49.085 0.793
10 99 Spain Jorge Lorenzo Honda 1'49.282 0.990
11 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin KTM 1'49.315 1.023
12 17 Czech Republic Karel Abraham Ducati 1'49.517 1.225
13 38 United Kingdom Bradley Smith Aprilia 1'49.756 1.464
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