Espargaro began qualifying as the clear-cut favourite for pole after dominating free practice two, and despite a late charge from Jorge Martin, the Aprilia rider kept his cool in fine fashion. 

Once Q2 started, Espargaro provided little doubt to his status as favourite after going three tenths clear of anyone during the opening stint.

Then, In typical Martin fashion, the exceptional qualifier put his Desmosedici GP22 machine top after a last sector that appeared untouchable. 

And although Espargaro did lose some of his advantage in said sector, the Aprilia rider did enough to claim a sensational and very much deserved first pole for the Noale-based manufacturer. 

Since joining MotoGP in 2015, the Italian brand had achieved just one top three result in qualifying, which came courtesy of Espargaro at Silverstone in 2021. 

Speaking about what it meant to hold the record of achieving three poles with three different manufacturers, something not even five-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo could manage during stints with Yamaha, Ducati and Honda, Espargaro said he was more pleased for everyone at Aprilia. 

"I’m happy and satisfied, but sincerely, for the rider it’s nice to be fast on Saturday because the feeling you get on that lap is always special," added Espargaro who is making his 200th Grand Prix start on Sunday. 

"It’s great to feel that adrenaline and speed. But what would really make me happy is if tomorrow I can achieve a good result and keep making history for Aprilia. 

"This is just Saturday. More than for me, I’m happy for Aprilia. When you, for example, if Jorge [Martin] makes a pole position then they [Pramac] are normal in their garage because he gets pole positions every weekend, but for Aprilia, when you do the first pole and arrive in the garage and see the face of everyone there, it’s completely another story. 

"Working six years on this project, and these small moments of joy and happiness is fantastic. 

"I’ve been working a long time with them so I feel part of my second family. To see them happy like this makes me very happy. 

"Everyone in the paddock congratulated us and this makes me very happy, very proud. But once again, it’s just Saturday."

Espargaro wasn’t alone in impressing for Aprilia as Maverick Vinales also enjoyed the best start to a race weekend for the team since joining them at Aragon last year. 

While Espargaro has always been quick over one lap, both practice sessions suggested Espargaro has race pace good enough to fight for the win. 

This has been made possible in large part due to his feeling with the hard front tyre, however, Espargaro is keeping a ‘feet on the ground’ approach. 

Espargaro said: "I mean the bike with the hard front tyre felt so good today. I can brake late and maintain a very high corner speed. So the bike, sincerely it’s working great today. 

"The race pace is quite strong. But feet on the ground because this is a special GP with just one day of practice. 

"We have a lot of things to analyse tonight and the warm-up is longer, so step-by-step; obviously today’s result is an extra boost of confidence to myslef. 

"Tomorrow I will try my best and push from lap one. The tyre consumption is quite good and we did a good job in FP2. I’m just trying to be as relaxed as possible."