Quartararo takes Catalunya Pole as Yamaha Dominate

by Joshua Close
Quartararo takes pole in Catalunya

Fabio Quartararo produced another qualifying masterclass to take pole position at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The rookie, who also ended Friday on top, secured his second pole of 2019 thanks to a lap-time of 1:39.484. This was +0.015s quicker than Marc Marquez. Quartararo won the Moto2 race last year and will be hoping to make a decent start tomorrow.

Maverick Viñales completes the front row for Monster Yamaha. Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi complete the top five, meaning that there are four Yamaha riders inside the top five.

Andrea Dovizioso struggled throughout the session and could only manage sixth. With Marquez up in second, the Italian is going to need a strong start to the race.

His team-mate, Danilo Petrucci is next in seventh. The winner at Mugello had to bounce back from a crash on his first run.

Alex Rins qualified eighth after crashing whilst on a flier. The Suzuki rider will be bitterly disappointed having being quick in Free Practice 4. Cal Crutchlow and Jorge Lorenzo complete the top 10 for Honda.

Qualifying 1 – Morbidelli Masterclass

Jack Miller set the early benchmark in Qualifying 1 with a 1:40.587. However, moments later he hit the deck at turn five. The Australian tucked the front heading into the corner.

The times began to tumble following Miller’s crash. Aleix Espargaro hit the top, however Takaaki Nakagami took the lead away immediately. Francesco Bagnaia slotted into second spot before the field came in for fresh tyres.

Andrea Iannone’s session came to a premature end as a result of his Aprilia cutting out in the pit lane.

On the circuit, Morbidelli took it to another level to go top of the standings. The Yamaha rider became the only rider to dip below the 1:40s.

Mir came close to joining Morbidelli in the 1:39s as he went second, with the Pramac duo of Bagnaia and Miller behind him. Due to traffic, nobody could improve in the closing seconds on the session.

The riders to miss out on Qualifying 2 were: Miller, Bagnaia, Karel Abraham, Nakagami, Aleix Espargaro, Johann Zarco, Tito Rabat, Miguel Oliveira, Hafizh Syahrin, Bradley Smith, Sylvain Guintoli and Iannone.

Qualifying 2 – Quartararo to the Front

It was an intriguing start to Qualifying 1 with Viñales being warned by his team that Marquez was looking for a tow. Viñales set the early benchmark with a 1:40.007.

The times would drop on everyone’s second lap. Marquez, Quartararo and then Morbidelli went fastest. Petrucci went third before crashing whilst cruising into turn five.

Rins was on a flier on his first lap back on the circuit. However, disaster struck as he fell going into turn 10. Having been quick all day, Rins was visibly frustrated.

Viñales hit the front once more, however Quartararo blew him away with a 1:39.484. Marquez went second with a 1:39.499. The reigning champion slotted behind Rossi in search of a tow, however his final lap got away from him.

On their final laps, Morbidelli went fourth, whilst Rossi and Dovizioso failed to improve on fifth and sixth respectively.

Nobody could get near Quartararo and the young Frenchman starts from pole for the second time in 2019. Tomorrow’s race will begin at 13:00.

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