Catalunya MotoGP: Aleix Espargaro snatches pole as Jorge Martin crashes

Aleix Espargaro continued his perfect home round by claiming pole position ahead of Francesco Bagnaia.

Aleix Espargaro Catalunya
Aleix Espargaro Catalunya

Looking to do what he couldn’t at the French MotoGP, Marc Marquez’s hopes of making Q2 got off to a good start as he twice went fastest.

However, the eight-time world champion was bumped down to second at the end of the opening run by Trackhouse Aprilia rider Raul Fernandez.

Competitive on his first two time attack laps, Fabio Quartararo was the rider narrowly missing out on a Q2 spot.

At the start of the second and final run Fernandez found even more time as he set a new all-time lap record.

Marc Marquez momentarily got back into the top two, however, a new all-time lap record from Fabio Di Giannantonio saw the Gresini rider moved out of the top two for the second race weekend in a row.

It got worse for Marquez when his brother Alex moved ahead of him with his final lap of the session. 

Shootout for pole goes the way of Espargaro

In Q2, Francesco Bagnaia was the rider to beat following the opening stint as he put -0.148s between himself and Pedro Acosta.

Third after his first run was Jorge Martin, one spot ahead of pre-qualifying favourite Aleix Espargaro.

To begin the second and final run, Martin’s bid to take pole ended early on as he tucked the front at turn two.

Following his team-mate, Franco Morbidelli followed Martin in crashing out of qualifying at the same corner.

Bagnaia, who failed to improve on his second run, saw pole snatched away from him in the dying seconds as Aleix Espargaro set a brilliant time of 1:38.190s.

Brad Binder rounds out the front row following a very impressive final sector from the KTM rider. 

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