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Bagnaia seals Aragon pole with record-breaking lap

By Guy Atkinson

Aragon, September 12: Francesco Bagnaia produced a "perfect lap" to seal pole position for Sunday's Aragon GP.

The Italian delivered a lap of one minute and 46.332 seconds on his second run to break the lap record at Aragon, which had stood since 2015.

Ducati team-mate Jack Miller was his nearest rival at just 0.366secs adrift, giving Ducati their first one-two in qualifying since Aragon 2018.

It marks Bagnaia's second pole of the 2021 season and the 50th for Ducati in MotoGP.

"I think it was a perfect lap," said Bagnaia. "It was great. I did a nice sector one, the sector two was incredible too and our bike in sector four helped us a lot.

It's a Ducati 1-2 in Aragon as Bagnaia smashes lap recordIt's a Ducati 1-2 in Aragon as Bagnaia smashes lap record

"Also, entry to the last corner was incredible. I looked at the data of Jorge Martin this morning, who was doing a different line compared to me, and then I tried to do the same and I improved a lot. I didn't expect to do a lap like that."

Bagnaia has never won a MotoGP race and he is keen to avoid complacency ahead of Sunday's race at MotorLand.

"I'll just try to set my pace and be fast," he added. "It will be important what happens with the tyres after 15 or 16 laps and in the last part of the race I feel strong, we will see if I am strong enough to win.

"The important thing will be to stay with the best from start to finish.

"It’s difficult to say that I'm ready to win or that I can win, but all the things are there."

Fabio Quartararo completed the front row, extending his run of consecutive top-three qualifying results to 11 this season.

The French rider, however, does not believe he has the pace to keep up with the Ducati pair.

"I want to have fun. Of course, it would be great to fight for the podium," he said.

"But to be honest, I don't feel I have the pace, so I will try to manage the best result as possible and I will try to stay with the front guys and fight until the end.

"But right now, at least we need to make a step in the warm-up to be able to fight for the podium tomorrow.

"So, let's hope for an improvement on the warm-up."

Provisional classification

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 1:46.322

2. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.366

3. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.397

4. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +0.414

5. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +0.556

6. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +0.561

7. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.840

8. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +0.872

9. Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) +0.956

10. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.966

11. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) +1.044

12. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +1.610

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Story first published: Sunday, September 12, 2021, 2:20 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 12, 2021