Petronas Yamaha SRT's Fabio Quartararo was pretty much all Friday was about and today, the story hasn't changed much as he delivered on a yet another superlative performance - taking the sixth pole in his rookie year. It was a close duel between him and reigning champion Marc Marquez who finished just 0.032 seconds behind. Another man with a serious pace Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) finished into the front row.
Given his performances in qualifying so far this season, it was no surprise to see Quartararo on provisional pole after the first run, but Miller was coming. The Australian was able to take over at the top as the riders headed back out, but it didn’t take too long for Quartararo to strike back. Provisionally fastest once again and Marquez taking over in second, there remained one more shot at it for most. Could the reigning Champion ruin the rookie party?
1. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) – 1:29.978
2. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.032
3. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) + 0.108
4. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha GP) + 0.200
5. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.471
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) + 0.533
7. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.617
8. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.617
9. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) + 0.748
10. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) + 0.793
11. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.930
12. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.976
Q1 saw Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) vs Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) in a duel for supremacy – with the former coming out on top, but by just 0.005. Johann Zarco (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was the man who just lost out in P13, with the 12 men ahead of him then heading out to fight for pole.
On the second row it’s Sepang winner Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) in fourth, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in a solid fifth. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) slotted into sixth as the only man who improved on his final lap, aiming to stop Marquez from giving Repsol Honda the teams’ Championship.
Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) got the better of Q1 graduate teammate Alex Rins to take seventh, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) completing the third row alongside the two Suzukis. Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci rounds out the top 10 in Valencia as Pol Espargaro managed to beat 12th fastest Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP).