Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro claimed his best qualifying result since the summer break with seventh on the grid for Sunday's Aragon MotoGP.

The Spaniard repeated his Friday practice position by posting a best Qualifying lap time 0.938s from pole sitter Marc Marquez and 0.4s from front row starter Andrea Iannone.

"It's good to be back in the top group," admitted Espargaro. "After yesterday I didn't feel very comfortable at all while this morning we could make a good improvement. It is important to start from seventh place, it is more like the place where I think we deserve to be and will allow me to be immediately up to the front of the pack.

Related Articles

"In fact today's qualifying was very, very hard, the circuit record was completely destroyed and I'm on the third row although I am only 0.4s from the front row. This means that we found a proper way to proceed and we are getting back closer to the top.

"Finally my pace is pretty much the same as other middle pack riders, therefore I am confident that tomorrow we can make a positive race."

After a worrying 16th on Friday, rookie team-mate Maverick Vi?ales made Saturday gains and will start from twelfth place.

"Finally we found some directions to work in and we could make a very important step forward," he said. "Yesterday we lost pretty much all the day because we couldn't find the proper direction, while today we managed to be very competitive. This pays back our efforts and re-ignites our positive expectations.

"Of course today I had to focus on qualifying, in FP3 I thought to be as fast as possible to hit direct access to Q2 and in qualifying as well I focused on getting the best place available. This means that we couldn't finalise the work for the consistent race pace, probably we still miss something to be relaxed and confident, but we still have the warm-up to try to find something more and consolidate our pace.

"The race will be tough, the top riders are doing very well but also the middle pack is very competitive. We need to get as many points as possible for the championship therefore we will work hard in warm-up to finalise the race-pace set-up and try to be aggressive in the race itself."