Francesco Bagnaia takes pole position at Qatar with the best lap time Qatar has ever seen on two wheels.
Francesco Bagnaia starts his Ducati career in style with pole position in his first attempt in red. After being promoted to the factory team over Johann Zarco many thought it was a bad idea, Pecco hasn’t wasted any time shutting these doubters up taking pole position by a monumental 0.266 over Fabio Quartararo and becomes the first rider on two wheels to break into the 1:52 time bracket as Quartararo misses out by just 0.038 and Vinales by 0.088.
Bagnaia stuck true to his word following FP2 yesterday, he set a time worthy of P2 and said he will break the lap record during qualifying today, he did exactly that becoming the first rider of many to smash the lap record previously held by Marc Marquez which was eventually beaten by Fabio Quartararo, not satisfied with his work Bagnaia went back out and set another lap record to take his first-ever MotoGP class pole position. He improved Marc Marquez’s previous record by a huge 0.608.
The Italian leads a trio of Yamaha’s which includes Valentino Rossi after the Ducati man offered his academy boss a tow around the circuit which initially promoted The Doctor to P3 in the Petronas colours before Maverick Vinales got the better of his ex-teammate by a mere 0.026 pushing Rossi onto the second row in P4, for the first time in a little while we have a full factory front row with Fabio Quartararo in P2 and Vinales in P3.
The Yamaha’s are looking very impressive around Qatar on a one-lap basis with Vinales showing good race pace, we will need to see how the bikes fare tomorrow given that they have Miller and Zarco just behind the Yamaha trio in P5 and P6 respectively, Johann Zarco has already broken the top speed record at the circuit clocking in at 362.4km/h before running off at turn 1. Historically Ducati have already been incredibly strong around the circuit in Doha therefore a Ducati 1-2-3 is a major possibility.
Franco Morbidelli heads the third row in P7 ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia, Espargaro has shown a lot of pace throughout the past few weeks in testing and over the weekend, he is aiming to improve Aprilia’s best result of P6 here in Qatar on the new and improved RS-GP, he leads Alex Rins in P9.
The Suzuki riders finished qualifying in P9 and P10 with Mir capping off the top 10, this is a sight we have become accustomed to last year with Mir and Rins fighting their way through the field many times last year to arrive on the podium so we can expect them to be competitive tomorrow.
KTM continue to struggle at Qatar with their best rider being Miguel Oliveira who will start from P15 with the rest of the orange boys nearly at the back of the grid with Binder in P19, Petrucci P20 and Lecuona P21.
Rookies Enea Bastianini and Jorge Martin have also shown an unbelievable amount of promise, Enea losing his Q2 place to Nakagami in the dying minutes of the session with Jorge Martin also on a red lap before a crash took him out of contention, the duo are looking incredibly strong with Ducati and are not to be forgotten about.
Full Q2 results:
Full Q1 results:
Featured image – Ducati Media