Bengaluru, April 30: Ducati Lenovo Team's Francesco Bagnaia set a new all-time lap record of 1:36.170 in Q2 at the famed Jerez circuit to clinch the pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix.
In the hotly-anticipated showdown between Bagnaia and the Jerez master Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), it went the way of the Italian as he denied the 2021 FIM MotoGP world champion a fifth straight pole position in Jerez, which is literally known as the cradle of MotoGP in paddock circles.
A late charge from Aprilia Racing's Aleix Espagaro saw him snatch the final front row spot as his confidence continues to grow in 2022.
Meanwhile, Jack Miller will fancy his chances of jumping on the Jerez podium again on Sunday (May 1), despite dropping back down to the head of the second row. The Australian will be joined there by Marc Marquez, after his towing paid off, and the fastest man in Q1: Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing).
The Frenchman left it late in Q1 and was then the final man to come across the line in Q2.
Thankfully for him, he saved his best until last again by jumping up two places to sixth.
Fronting the third row of the grid will be Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), ahead of the impressive rookie Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing), who backed up his second row start last weekend in Portimao with another sizzling Saturday performance.
The final spot on the third row will be occupied by Joan Mir after his late crash cost him dear, with the same going for Jorge Martin.
The Spaniard, usually a Q2 master, rounds out the top ten. Similar disappointment for the man he's fighting it out with over a 2023 factory Ducati seat, Enea Bastianini.
A crash for the Gresini Racing man on his final flying lap meant he had to settle for 11th on the grid, ahead of Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) in 12th, who never got going in Q2.
Before the first flying laps had even come in we saw drama in Q2 at Jerez when Pramac Racing's Martin crashed out at the first corner. The Spaniard squirted on the throttle before a slight bobble saw him crash out and sprint back for his second bike.
That fall had consequences as it forced the cancellation of the majority of laps, meaning Mir's (Team Suzuki Ecstar) 1:37.616 was the fastest of the five riders whose laptimes still stood.
So, lights will glow off for the Spanish GP on Sunday (May 1) at 2pm local time (5.30pm IST). Indian audience can catch all the action live on Eurosport channel.
THE GRID (TOP 10) FOR SPANISH GP
1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) - 1:36.170
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.453
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) + 0.763
4. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.879
5. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.975
6. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 1.050
7. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU) + 1.084
8. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 1.115
9. Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) + 1.160
10. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 1.356
(By a special arrangement with Dorna Sports)