The old Aragon lap record has been around since 2015, but Bagnaia broke it to win his second pole of the 2021 campaign and the 50th for Ducati in MotoGP.
Avintia rookie Enea Bastianini set the tone with 1m47.578s in his first appearance in Q2 in 2021, but was quickly knocked down by teammate Ducati Bagnaia with 1m46.908s at his Desmosedici factory.
Bagnaia briefly led a Ducati 1-2 of teammate Jack Miller, but Marc Marquez split the pair on his second lap pitched on the Honda.
Quartararo’s first pitched lap left him third, but he lost more than four-tenths of a second in the last sector after leading the remainder of the lap.
The Yamaha rider worked his way through the first three sectors of his next effort to enter the final division with over half a second off, which saw him finish in the lead with a time of 1.46m. , 727.
This lap would be enough to keep Quartararo in provisional pole position, however, as Bagnaia opened his second heat he produced a new lap record of 1m46.332.
Bagnaia would be undisputed until the checkered flag, with teammate Miller being their closest rival 0.366 seconds behind – scoring Ducati’s first double in qualifying since Aragon 2018.
Quartararo completed the first row with a time of 1m46.719s to bring his streak of successive top three results to 11 this season.
Miller’s late improvement to second place came at the expense of a front row start for Honda’s Marc Marquez, who will start fourth after missing third by just 0.017 seconds.
Jorge Martin briefly held the provisional pole at the start of the session and will start fifth in the Pramac Ducati ahead of Aleix Espargaro d’Aprilia.
The latter’s 1m46.883 demoted world champion Joan Mir to seventh place on the Suzuki, the Spaniard having been lucky not to be recovered by Marquez at turn 1 at the end of the session.
Pol Espargaro placed eighth on Bastianini’s second factory Honda and Q1 leader Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati), while Takaaki Nakagami was 11th on LCR Honda and Brad Binder – who followed Zarco to Q1 – only 12th on the KTM having been left without any fresh soft slicks for Q2.
The big shock of qualifying came from the 2020 Aragon GP winner Alex Rins on the Suzuki recording his worst result on Saturday of the season.
The Suzuki rider finished 0.497 seconds behind session leader Zarco and will start 20th, with only Petronas SRT duo Valentino Rossi and Jake Dixon behind him on the grid.
Tech 3 KTM’s Iker Lecuona’s recent strong form continued in qualifying at Aragon, with the Spaniard linked to the Honda World Superbike just over a tenth behind Q2 in 13th.
Lecuona led 2020 Aragon GP runner-up Alex Marquez on LCR Honda and Yamaha substitute Cal Crutchlow, with Danilo Petrucci on second Tech 3 KTM 16th.
Luca Marini in the Avintia Ducati will start 17th ahead of KTM’s Miguel Oliveira, while Maverick Vinales will start from 19th for his Aprilia debut on Sunday.