Quartararo snatches MotoGP pole as Rins is declared unfit to race

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Photo Credit: MotoGP Content Pool

Fabio Quartararo continued on from his stellar 2019 performance as he smashed the circuit record to claim pole ahead of future teammate Maverick Vinales and Marc Marquez as MotoGP gets underway for the first race of the year in Spain.

The Frenchman delivered a superb third practice performance to place him automatically into Q2, recovering from a somewhat troublesome first practice session. Quartararo maintained his incredible pace throughout the entire Q2 session, occasionally being displaced by Vinales and Marquez but neither were able to keep the place and had to settle for second and third respectively.

Pramac’s Pecco Bagnaia will start the Spanish GP in fourth, his best qualifying position since joining the premier class. Teammate Jack Miller will start from fifth alongside Brit Cal Crutchlow. Miller was unable to improve on his fifth-place qualifying position after a late crash in Q2 saw him tumble into the gravel with less than two-minutes remaining of the session.

Pol Espargaro fought his way out of Q1 into Q2 to start the race in seventh alongside Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso in eighth and Alex Rins in ninth. Dovizioso was another late session crasher as he took a short trip into the gravel at turn-two before recovering his Bologna Bullet and rejoining the track. Suzuki’s Rins was far less fortunate. The Spanish rider suffered an awful crash moments after Miller at the same corner, dislocating and fracturing his shoulder and has been declared unfit to race.

The fastest man from second practice, Franco Morbidelli qualified in tenth alongside mentor Valentino Rossi in eleventh and Joan Mir in twelfth, however, due to Rins being declared unfit for the race, Morbidelli, Rossi and the remainder of the grid will be promoted one position, moving rookie Brad Binder up to twelfth on his MotoGP debut. Binder was unlucky to miss out on a Q2 place after just being beaten to it by his teammate but the South African showed impressive pace throughout the weekend which can hopefully be transferred into race day pace.

The MotoGP race gets underway at 1pm (GMT+1) for the long-awaited first race of the 2020 season.

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