2020 MotoGP: Quartararo bags 10th pole at Aragon despite trip to medical centre after FP3

2020 MotoGP: Despite a trip to the medical centre after an FP3 crash, the Frenchman is P1 on Saturday; Viñales and Crutchlow on Row 1, Dovizioso 13th

By:October 17, 2020 9:10 PM
2020 motogp, aragon gp, fabio quartararo

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) is the polesitter for the 10th time after a rollercoaster Saturday, having endured a painful crash during FP3 that took him to the medical centre. But the Frenchman was on fire in Q2 at Aragon setting a 1:47.076 lap beating second-place Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) by just 0.046 seconds. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) crossed the line in third place, having secured the first row for the first time since 2019 Americas GP.

Before Q2 got underway, a huge battle in Q1 raged between the Ducatis and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) topped the 15-minute fight with the best lap of the weekend at that time, a 1:47.605, with Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) grabbing the second spot on his last flying lap to demote Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) to P3 and out of Q2. A furious Dovizioso shot straight out the back of the garage, work to do for last year’s Aragon GP runner-up from P13 on the grid.

Morbidelli was the first to set a lap time in Q2 but that was immediately beaten by Miller, a 1:47.657 was set by the Australian and he was top of the pile in the early stages. Quartararo slotted into P2 early doors before Morbidelli snatched P2 back – and almost P1. 0.002 separated Morbidelli and Miller but there were plenty of red sectors lighting up the time screens. Quartararo was one of those and El Diablo shot to P1 and following the Yamaha on track, Miller improved but stayed P2 – a tenth splitting the pair.

In Sector 3, Vinales was 0.021 under Quartararo’s time and after a stellar final sector, Viñales leapfrogged his Yamaha rival to take provisional pole by 0.171 seconds. Crutchlow crossed the line and moved up to P3 to shove Morbidelli down to P4. Talking of the Italian, Morbidelli was on a great lap and was only 0.020 off in Sector 3. However, Morbidelli lost time down the back straight and despite setting a personal best time, the number 21 stayed P4. Viñales was then setting an almost identical lap time to his current P1 best, and the number 12 came across the line to go slightly quicker – 0.003 was the advantage gained.

However, Quartararo was just through his first sector and was up. El Diablo was 0.073 faster than Viñales coming through Sector 2, but it was the next part where Quartararo gained time. Heading onto the almost 1km long back straight, the title chase leader was over a tenth and a half under Viñales’ time and despite losing over a tenth in the final split, walking wounded Quartararo went P1 by 0.046 seconds – a phenomenal final flying lap.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) set his personal best time on his final flying lap, but it didn’t quite see him penetrate the front two rows. The Japanese rider was less than a tenth off Mir’s time and will spearhead Petrucci and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) on Row 3. The latter and younger brother Pol Espargaro had a bit of an incident in Q2, the KTM rider tagging the back of the Aprilia, causing part of Pol Espargaro’s wing to be hanging off and therefore seeing him unable to set a last gung-ho lap. For Aleix, it’s his second best qualifying result of the season after P4 in Czechia.

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins completed the top 10, with Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) – despite struggling on the soft tyres in Q2 – cementing his best MotoGP™ qualifying result in P11. After the incident, Pol Espargaro had to settle for P12.

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