Qualifying for the MotoGP Grand Prix of Portugal was not without drama, as Francesco Bagnaia set what he thought was a new all-time lap record, only for his pole lap to be deleted due to a yellow flag infringement. 

It means that Fabio Quartararo made it a Saturday clean sweep having topped FP3, FP4 and now Q2. 

Quartararo was fastest after the initial flying laps in Q2, and held the position until the very last seconds before Bagnaia popped in a time that would have been a new lap record. 

But having improved under a yellow flag caused by Miguel Oliveira’s crash, celebrations in the Ducati garage were premature, as Bagnaia went from a potential pole, to starting Sunday’s race in 11th. 

Quartararo therefore inherited top spot and will be looking to capitalize on the impressive race pace he’s shown so far.

In second place was Alex Rins, who managed to claim his first front row start since Valencia last season.

In third place was championship leader Johann Zarco, as the French rider recovered from a crash on his opening run to get an important front row start. 

Zarco will start one place ahead of the man he replaced at Pramac in 2021, Jack Miller

Like his team-mate Bagnaia, Miller looked on course for pole on a couple of his laps, but couldn’t hook up the final sector to challenge Quartararo. 

Franco Morbidelli will start in fifth for Petronas Yamaha, as his improved form following Qatar continued, while Marc Marquez put in a strong final lap to claim sixth having progressed through Q1. 

2020 world champion Joan Mir was the other rider to progress through Q1 as Marquez cleverly used the Suzuki rider as benchmark. 

Aleix Espargaro moved up to eighth with his final lap before it became seventh due to Bagnaia demotion. 

Rounding out the top ten were Luca Marini in eighth, as he put an FP4 crash behind him to claim his first MotoGP top ten starting position. 

Ninth was Mir, while race winner six months ago Miguel Oliveira was unable to improve following a crash late on and starts tenth. 

With his team-mate on pole, it was a disappointing day for Maverick Vinales who had back-to-back laps taken away due to exceeding track limits. The Qatar race one winner will start 12th.