Quartararo takes pole, Miller third in Valencia 

Fabio Quartararo pic:MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo scored his sixth MotoGP pole position of the season after edging world champion Marc Marquez, while Jack Miller was third in qualifying for the Valencia finale.

The Petronas Yamaha SRT rider underlined his one lap pace by becoming the only rider to dip inside the 1:29s bracket to claim pole and his 13th front row start this year. 

Quartararo was made to work hard during the session having had to fend off spirited challenges from Marquez and Miller.

Miller had set the initial pace, moving to the top of the times early in the session, before factory Suzuki rider Maverick Vinales and then Quartararo surged to provisional pole with nine minutes remaining. 

As the session moved into its final two minutes Miller struck with a 1:30.086s effort.

However, the Australian’s time was surpassed by Quartararo and Repsol Honda’s Marquez, with the former eclipsing the time before going on to lower the benchmark to a 1:29.978s at the chequered flag.

Marquez managed to sneak into second spot, 0.032s adrift of Quartararo.

Miller was left to settle for third with the Pramac Ducati rider the best from the Italian manufacturer, and only 0.108s from pole.

The performance marked the first front row start for the Queenslander since the British Grand Prix in August.

Competing in his final qualifying session, the retiring Jorge Lorenzo was 16th fastest on the sister Repsol Honda.

Vinales headed up the second row in fourth ahead of Franco Morbidelli, who endured a trip through the gravel trap at Turn 4 early in the session.

Factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso was sixth while Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) was seventh ahead of team-mate Alex Rins, who was forced to come through Q1.

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci rounded out the top 10

Lucky to avoid a major high side in Q1 at the final corner, Pol Espargaro put the works Red Bull KTM in 11th spot in front of Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi.

Meanwhile, Johann Zarco, who has been linked to a move to the Avintia Ducati squad next year, missed out on a berth in Q2 by 0.2s.

The LCR Honda rider sat in second spot early in Q1 but was unable to find the pace required to progress leaving him in 13th spot on the grid.

Michele Pirro was 14th ahead of Aleix Espargaro and the retiring Lorenzo.

Debutant Iker Lecuona, replacing the injured Miguel Oliveira at Red Bull KTM Tech 3, impressed to claim 19th as Andrea Iannone, Karel Abraham and Hafizh Syahrin completed the grid.  

The Valencia Grand Prix is scheduled for midnight AEDT.

Results: MotoGP Valencia Qualifying

Position Rider Team Bike Time Gap
1 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 1m29.978s
2 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m30.010s 0.032s
3 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m30.086s 0.108s
4 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 1m30.178s 0.200s
5 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 1m30.449s 0.471s
6 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m30.511s 0.533s
7 Joan Mir Suzuki Suzuki 1m30.573s 0.595s
8 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 1m30.595s 0.617s
9 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 1m30.726s 0.748s
10 Danilo Petrucci Ducati Ducati 1m30.771s 0.793s
11 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 1m30.908s 0.930s
12 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m30.954s 0.976s
13 Johann Zarco LCR Honda Honda 1m30.826s
14 Michele Pirro Ducati Ducati 1m30.949s
15 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 1m30.972s
16 Jorge Lorenzo Honda Honda 1m31.295s
17 Mika Kallio KTM KTM 1m31.383s
18 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m31.507s
19 Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM KTM 1m31.658s
20 Andrea Iannone Aprilia Aprilia 1m31.714s
21 Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m31.815s
22 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 KTM KTM 1m31.839s

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