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Qualifying report
MotoGP Catalan GP

MotoGP Catalan GP: Bagnaia spoils Aprilia party with Barcelona pole

Reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia put a halt to Aprilia’s annexation of the timesheets at the MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix by snatching pole with a lap record from Aleix Espargaro.

Aprilia continued to top every session up to Q2, after RNF’s Miguel Oliveira was fastest in third practice despite a crash, plus he topped Q1 to advance to the pole shootout.

Setting the early pace, Espargaro would ultimately be denied a second home pole by Ducati’s Bagnaia after the latter fired in a 1m38.639s to take top spot by 0.104 seconds.

Oliveira completed the front row, his first front row since his Portuguese GP pole in 2020 when he was with Tech3 KTM, while Maverick Vinales was fourth on the third Aprilia inside the top four.

Marc Marquez was the only Japanese bike rider to make it into Q2 but could do no more than 12th on his Honda. 

The eight-time world champion set the initial benchmark in Q2 on a used soft tyre following his Q1 outing, in which he shadowed KTM’s Jack Miller to go second fastest.

Marquez’s 1m40.665s was instantly blitzed, with Espargaro coming out on top after the opening salvo of laps with a 1m39.207s.

Brad Binder on the sole KTM in the Q2 session was next to go fastest with a 1m39.176s, before Vinales edged ahead with a 1m39.099s.

A 1m38.752s from Espargaro – who was battling chatter issues on the front-end - in the closing three minutes of the session returned him to the top of the order.

But it would not be enough to halt Bagnaia’s charge to a sixth pole, as the championship leader set a new lap record of 1m38.639s.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: MotoGP

A final flier from Espargaro kept him in touch, but he came up just 0.104s short as Oliveira completed the front row despite completing both 15-minute qualifying segments on one bike after wrecking his other one in his practice crash.

Vinales heads row two, 0.024s down on Oliveira, with Pramac duo Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco rounding out the top six.

Alex Marquez beat his Gresini Ducati team-mate Fabio Di Giannantonio to seventh, while Binder was shuffled back to ninth but stayed ahead of VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi.

Ducati’s Enea Bastianini was 11th ahead of Marquez, with Miller 13th having missed a Q2 spot by 0.162s.

Bastianini will have to cede three places on Sunday after he was found to have impeded Pol Espargaro in FP2 on Friday.

Espargaro qualified 14th on his Tech3 GasGas ahead of RNF’s Raul Fernandez and the Yamaha duo of Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo.

Last year’s Catalan GP winner challenged for a Q2 place in the early portion of the first qualifying segment, but a small crash at Turn 1 as he tried to stay upright in the gravel after running off curtailed his charge.

Luca Marini was a disappointing 18th on his VR46 Ducati ahead of Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez while the rest of the Hondas – Joan Mir and LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami and Iker Lecuona – rounded out the field.

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MotoGP Catalan GP - Qualifying results

Q2

 
 
         
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 Italy F. Bagnaia Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 8 1'38.639   172.519 351
2 Spain A. Espargaro Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 7 +0.104 0.104 172.338 350
3 Portugal M. Oliveira Miguel Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 8 +0.109 0.005 172.329 350
4 Spain M. Viñales Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 7 +0.133 0.024 172.287 349
5 Spain J. Martin Jorge Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 8 +0.158 0.025 172.244 355
6 France J. Zarco Johann Zarco Pramac Racing 5 Ducati 8 +0.219 0.061 172.137 349
7 Spain A. Marquez Alex Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 8 +0.414 0.195 171.798 349
8 Italy F. Di Giannantonio Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing 49 Ducati 8 +0.415 0.001 171.797 349
9 South Africa B. Binder Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 8 +0.418 0.003 171.791 354
10 Italy M. Bezzecchi Marco Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 8 +0.729 0.311 171.254 354
11 Italy E. Bastianini Enea Bastianini Ducati Team 23 Ducati 8 +0.936 0.207 170.898 354
12 Spain M. Marquez Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 7 +1.062 0.126 170.682 349

Q1

 
 
         
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 Portugal M. Oliveira Miguel Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 7 1'38.789   172.258 351
2 Spain M. Marquez Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 7 +0.281 0.281 171.769 350
3 Australia J. Miller Jack Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 8 +0.443 0.162 171.489 350
4 Spain P. Espargaro Pol Espargaro Tech 3 44 KTM 8 +0.541 0.098 171.319 354
5 Spain R. Fernández Raúl Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 8 +0.571 0.030 171.268 348
6 Italy F. Morbidelli Franco Morbidelli Yamaha Factory Racing 21 Yamaha 7 +0.663 0.092 171.109 347
7 France F. Quartararo Fabio Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 7 +0.721 0.058 171.009 347
8 Italy L. Marini Luca Marini Team VR46 10 Ducati 8 +0.784 0.063 170.901 351
9 Spain A. Fernandez Augusto Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 8 +1.005 0.221 170.523 349
10 Spain J. Mir Joan Mir Repsol Honda Team 36 Honda 8 +1.425 0.420 169.808 350
11 Japan T. Nakagami Takaaki Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 8 +1.599 0.174 169.514 343
12 Spain I. Lecuona Iker Lecuona Team LCR 27 Honda 8 +1.791 0.192 169.190 347

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