Bagnaia leads Ducati 1-2 in Aragon MotoGP qualifying - The Race
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Bagnaia leads Ducati 1-2 in Aragon MotoGP qualifying

Sep 11 2021
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Ducati works rider Francesco Bagnaia took pole position for the MotoGP race at Aragon, leading a 1-2 for the Bologna factory.

Bagnaia’s 1m46.322s effort represented a new MotoGP lap record at the venue, replacing the time set by Marc Marquez in qualifying back in 2015.

Championship leader Fabio Quartararo went a tenth and a half clear on his first run, albeit having been more than half a second ahead after the first three sectors.

And having more than matched Quartararo’s sectors once back out on a fresh soft rear, Bagnaia made the most of Ducati’s power in the final stretch of the lap to produce his record-breaking effort.

Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Aragon MotoGP 2021

Quartararo’s late push to respond was fruitless, and in fact potentially detrimental, with Bagnaia’s factory team-mate Jack Miller using him as a distant reference to go 0.031s quicker, securing the Ducati 1-2.

The improvement by Miller moved Marquez down to fourth, with the Honda man joined on row two by Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia).

Joan Mir was a disappointed seventh for Suzuki, despite this representing a better-than-usual qualifying effort for the GSX-RR, while Pol Espargaro (Honda) and Enea Bastianini (Avintia Ducati) completing the top nine.

Pramac’s Johann Zarco, who topped Q1, made it five Ducatis in the top 10.

Lead KTM rider Brad Binder joined Zarco in progressing through Q2 but had run out of fresh soft rear tyres, meaning he could only finish a distant 12th, nearly six tenths down on 11th-placed Takaaki Nakagami.

Alex Marquez LCR Honda Aragon MotoGP 2021

Former Moto3 team-mates Alex Marquez (LCR Honda) and Alex Rins (Suzuki), who battled each other for victory in the first Aragon race last year, were both eliminated in the first segment.

The younger Marquez was two tenths off advancing and will be sandwiched on the fifth row of the grid by Tech3 KTM rider Iker Lecuona – the second-best of the Austrian marque’s four-rider contingent – and the second-best Yamaha of stand-in Cal Crutchlow.

Rins for his part was a very disappointing 20th, recording his joint-worst qualifying result since 2017, ahead of only Petronas Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Jake Dixon.

Among the riders who beat Rins was Aprilia’s new boy Maverick Vinales, albeit just by 0.014s. Vinales very briefly flirted with a Q2 berth but will ultimately line up 19th for his RS-GP race debut.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team Bike Group 1 Group 2
1 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m46.322s
2 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m46.688s
3 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m46.719s
4 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m46.736s
5 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 1m46.878s
6 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1m46.883s
7 Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1m47.162s
8 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m47.194s
9 Enea Bastianini Avintia Esponsorama Racing Ducati 1m47.278s
10 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 1m47.293s 1m47.288s
11 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1m47.366s
12 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m47.344s 1m47.932s
13 Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m47.508s
14 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 1m47.542s
15 Cal Crutchlow Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m47.613s
16 Danilo Petrucci Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m47.708s
17 Luca Marini SKY VR46 Avintia Team Ducati 1m47.741s
18 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m47.75s
19 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1m47.764s
20 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1m47.79s
21 Valentino Rossi Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1m47.863s
22 Jake Dixon Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1m48.146s

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