Motorcycle Racing

Espargaro beats Miller to pole in rain effected Q2 stunner

Espargaro beats Miller to pole in rain effected Q2 stunner

Light rain created an unforgettable Spanish GP pole position shootout as Bezzecchi, Rins and Quartararo start from P13 and below

Saturday mornings don’t get much better than that! Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) will start the Tissot Sprint and Grand Prix race from pole position at the Gran Premio MotoGP™ Guru by Gryfyn de España after coming out on top in an unbelievable Q2. Light rain fell at the start of the session but conditions improved as an all-time classic pole battle played out in Jerez. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) claimed P2 and P3 respectively, as big names failed to make it into Q2.

Bezzecchi, Quartararo and Rins miss Q2 cut

Q1 was a star-studded affair as the top three in the World Championship, Argentina Sprint winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) found themselves battling for two crucial spots in the pole position fight. Title leader Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) set the early pace, with Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) P5 and P6 with five minutes to go.

It was all about to change as the second set of fresh rear soft tyres were slotted in. Bezzecchi improved his time at the top but Pecco moved the goalposts, before Binder then went P1. Bezzecchi was suddenly shoved to P3, but crucially he got one more bite at the cherry. Bezzecchi was 0.076s shy off Pecco’s time through the third split, and he couldn’t claw back any time in the final sector – Bezzecchi missed out on a Q2 place by 0.037s, as Pecco and Binder sailed into Q2. Elsewhere, Quartararo could only manage P6 in Q1, P16 on the grid, for his worst MotoGP™ qualifying in Jerez. A nightmare for the Frenchman and Yamaha.

Rain doesn’t stop play in Q2 belter  

As if we didn’t have enough drama already, the heavens opened as the chequered flag waved to signal the end of Q1. It was only light rain, but how much would it affect track conditions? We were about to find out. Binder was one of the riders who ventured out on wet tyres, Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) another, while the others were lapping on slicks.

Interestingly, Marquez came straight into pitlane to change for slicks, while Binder chose to plough on. A 1:43.003 was…

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