Bagnaia bags fifth straight MotoGP pole

Francesco Bagnaia

Francesco Bagnaia has extended his MotoGP pole position streak to five successive events with a record-setting lap in qualifying for the Algarve Grand Prix.

While champion elect Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) was the Friday fast man, Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) surged to the front in both Saturday practice sessions leading up to qualifying – and maintained that form when it mattered.

Bagnaia’s team-mate Jack Miller had led for a chunk of Q2 before the Italian hit the front with a 1:38.775s two minutes from the end.

The battle was not done yet though, with both riders going faster again.

Bagnaia shaved another half-tenth off his own new Portimao lap record, his 1:38.725s enough to keep Miller at bay, with Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir sealing third to mark his maiden premier class front-row start.

“Very, very happy,” Bagnaia said.

“We did a really good job this weekend, we worked a lot and everything is perfect.

“[Since] Qualifying from Aragon, I understand how to do the out lap, that helps me a lot to be more competitive in the time attack so I’m very happy.

“For tomorrow, I think the possibility to win is there so we just have to choose the correct tyre and the fight with Fabio, I think [he] is the one with a really good pace, it will be nice to do.”

Forced to settle for second again, Miller was focused on capitalising in the race.

“Another solid Saturday for us but the big goal this week is to finally transfer it over,” said the Australian.

“We’ve had good pace the last few weekends and just haven’t been able to translate it to Sunday.

“I know we have got the potential, I know the bike has got the potential. Yeah, another good Saturday.

“Happy with that, happy with the work we have done through FP1 all the way up to Q2, so now it’s just a matter of getting everything sorted, not making any silly decisions like last week, myself and Pecco [Bagnaia], and we should be right for tomorrow.”

Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco were fourth and fifth, the latter having come through Q1 along with Iker Lecuona (Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing) who would secure 10th.

Pol Espargaro was the lead Honda in sixth, in the absence of injured Marc Marquez, while Quartararo was just seventh in the end.

There were two key crashes in qualifying, Luca Marini dropping his bike at Turn 14 in Q2, and Takaaki Nakagami resigned to starting from last after crashing at Turn 5 in the opening segment.

The premier class race at the Algarve Grand Prix will start at midnight tomorrow (AEDT).

Results: Qualifying, MotoGP

Pos Number Rider Team Marque Best time Diff
1 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:38.725
2 43 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:38.829 +0.104
3 36 Joan Mir Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1:38.893 +0.168
4 89 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 1:38.916 +0.191
5 5 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 1:38.918 +0.193
6 44 Pol Espargaro Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:39.058 +0.333
7 20 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha Yamaha 1:39.131 +0.406
8 73 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 1:39.191 +0.466
9 21 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha Yamaha 1:39.321 +0.596
10 27 Iker Lecuona Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:39.387 +0.662
11 42 Alex Rins Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1:39.649 +0.924
12 10 Luca Marini Sky VR46 Avintia Ducati 1:39.828 +1.103
13 23 Enea Bastianini Avintia Esponsorama Ducati 1:39.283 Q1
14 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:39.389 Q1
15 9 Danilo Petrucci Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:39.595 Q1
16 46 Valentino Rossi Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:39.604 Q1
17 88 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:39.624 Q1
18 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:39.738 Q1
19 33 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:39.859 Q1
20 6 Stefan Bradl Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:39.907 Q1
21 4 Andrea Dovizioso Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:39.918 Q1
22 30 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Castrol Honda 1:40.009 Q1

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