Spanish MotoGP - Qualifying Results

Fabio Quartararo will start the opening round of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship season at Jerez from pole position after once more smashing the lap record in the closing stages of a fast and furious Q2 session.

However, there will be concerns for the fitness of Alex Rins after the Suzuki rider was involved in a high-speed crash late on, one of three incidents involving himself, Jack Miller and Andrea Dovizioso.

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Coming into qualifying as the favourite for pole position following a rapid turn in FP3, Quartararo – who scored his first pole position at Jerez last season – saved his best until last to leapfrog Yamaha counterpart Maverick Vinales for the top spot.

Stopping the clock at 1m 36.705secs, he was just over a tenth quicker than Vinales with six-time MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez a surprised third having lost the 0.250s advantage he’d accumulated in the run to the final sector. However, with Yamaha proving especially strong through this portion of the lap, the Honda rider was forced to settle for third.

Meanwhile, Pecco Bagnaia pulled out a superb lap to grab fourth position for Pramac Ducati, in so doing out-qualifying his team-mate Miller in fifth, who was picking himself up off the floor following a crash as the chequered flag was drawn.

Of more concern though will be Rins, who got it wrong at the same turn. The Suzuki rider initially saved a wobble but found himself careering through the gravel trap in close proximity to where Miller’s Ducati and the marshals were. Thrown off the bike, man and machine fell heavily, though Rins was eventually able to walk away from the smash, albeit holding his arm.

Cal Crutchlow starts from the outside of the second row in sixth place, ahead of Pol Espargaro, whose run to seventh on the KTM came after he progressed to Q2 via Q1. Dovizioso – another rider to fall late on – starts eighth ahead of the hapless Rins, while Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi will start from tenth and 11th respectively, with Joan Mir compounding Suzuki’s troubled day in 12th

Earlier on, Rins had already had a lucky escape after crashing at Turn 2 during the closing stages of Q1 just moments after securing the lap he needed to progress. Ironically, the low speed off was seemingly in distraction of another rider crashing in front of him, this time Bradley Smith.

Either way, the ensuing waved yellow flags meant no-one could improve their lap times in the crucial final stages, which spelled bad news for Brad Binder who missed out on the chance to make Q2 ahead of his MotoGP debut.

Nonetheless, the South African was still impressive to end Q1 just two tenths shy of his KTM team-mate – who’d go on to qualify seventh - and ahead of Danilo Petrucci, who continues to look out of sorts on the Ducati in 14th.

Takaaki Nakagami will start 15th, ahead of top Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro in a disappointing 16th given the high hopes of the new RS-GP.

Miguel Oliveira starts 17th from Smith on the second Aprilia, while Tito Rabat out-qualified Avintia Ducati team-mate Johann Zarco in 19th and 20th.

Alex Marquez, meanwhile, will get away from 21st for his MotoGP debut on the Repsol Honda having only just lifted himself off the back at the expense of Tech 3 KTM rider Iker Lecuona.