BAGNAIA OUTSIDE MILLER AGAIN

By Dan McCarthy

For the fifth race in a row, Francesco Bagnaia took pole position in MotoGP, this time at the Algarve circuit in Portugal, once again ahead of his Australian teammate Jack Miller.

The lap record was broken by several riders in Q2 and once again it was the Ducati factory men who were the fastest and will start 1-2 on the grid for tonight’s race.

A fortnight ago it ended in disaster for the Ducati duo, a tire bet backfired and knocked them both out of the race.

Yesterday evening, Bagnaia clocked 1m38.725 to take pole position for the fifth race in a row, this time just over a tenth of a second.

Australian Miller was only 0.104 seconds slower than his teammate and briefly held the top spot.

For the very first time, 2020 MotoGP World Champion Joan Mir has qualified in the front row on his factory Suzuki.

In his short MotoGP career, Mir landed 12 podiums, but didn’t start any of his 48 races from the front row of the grid.

Despite qualifying in the first row, Mir was furious with Alex Marquez for hampering him at Turn 1.

Mir was the only non-Ducati rider in the top five with rookie Jorge Martin edging his Pramac Ducati teammate Johann Zarco by just 0.002 seconds.

Zarco had to progress in Q1 and with limited tires remaining he stuck him in the middle of the second row.

Although Honda missed star man Marc Marquez who won the last two MotoGP races, Pol Espargaro held on, qualifying in sixth position just over 0.25 seconds off pole.

Fifteen days after winning his first MotoGP title, and with the pressure, Fabio Quartararo did not perform.

Fabio Quartararo qualified seventh - Image: Motorsport Images

Fabio Quartararo qualified seventh – Image: Motorsport Images

The Frenchman was visibly disappointed to qualify in seventh place, only the third time this season he will not start on the front row.

LCR Honda rider Alex Marquez was ninth ahead of Franco Morbidelli, Quartararo’s teammate at Yamaha.

During an impressive day at the office, Iker Lecuona, linked to FIM World Superbike, qualified as the best KTM rider in 10th position, showing that his impressive speed in Practice 4 was no accident.

Alex Rins could not compete with his teammate Suzuki Mir in qualifying and will start from 11th place ahead of Luca Marini who crashed at the start of Q2.

Zarco and Lecuona progressed in Q2, while Enea Bastianini had to start from 13th place, missing a place of 0.112 seconds.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro then edged Danilo Petrucci in the Tech 3 KTM.

In his penultimate MotoGP qualifying session, Valentino Rossi qualified 16th ahead of local hero Miguel Oliveira.

Maverick Vinales will start 17th ahead of Brad Binder, replacing Honda rider Stefan Bradl, Andrea Dovizioso and Takaaki Nakagami who crashed at the start of Q1.

For more on the latest MotoGP news, check out the current issue of Auto Action. Also make sure to follow us on Facebook social media, Twitter, Instagram or our weekly email newsletter for all the latest updates between issues.

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