Zarco on Silverstone pole, effervescent Espargaro salvages sixth

Pramac Ducati rider Johann Zarco will start MotoGP’s British Grand Prix from pole position after topping a qualifying session where Aleix Espargaro bounced back from a practice crash to qualify sixth.

Espargaro suffered a frightening crash at Farm curve during FP4 less than an hour before the start of Q2 and had to be stretchered away from the track. He was left with “contusions on both ankles” but no fractures, meaning he was allowed to take part in qualifying.

Therefore, he hobbled back onto his bike in Q2 and after a steady first run on used tyres, Espargaro smashed the lap record with his final flying lap, setting the first sub-1m58s lap of the Silverstone weekend.

That put him on provisional pole, but he was eventually shuffled down to the end of the second row in sixth place.

Zarco was the fastest of the five riders to beat him as he earned his second pole position of the season and the eighth of his so far winless top-flight career.

He was 0.098s ahead of Maverick Vinales, who achieved his best qualifying result since joining Aprilia last year.

The front row will be completed by Jack Miller, who edged championship leader Fabio Quartararo by just 0.007s.

Yamaha’s Quartararo, who will have to take a long-lap penalty on Sunday, looked visibly frustrated after the session. He’ll start alongside Dutch TT winner Francesco Bagnaia and his closest championship rival Espargaro.

Marco Bezzecchi, who earned his first premier class podium at Assen, progressed through Q1 and then claimed seventh on the grid in Q2 for the VR46 Ducati squad.

He’ll share the third row with fellow Q1 graduate Enea Bastianini and Zarco’s team-mate Jorge Martin, whose pole challenge faced after strong early Q2 pace.

Luca Marini made it two VR46 riders in the top 10 and he’ll be joined on the fourth row by Suzuki riders Alex Rins and Joan Mir.

None of the KTM or Honda riders managed to make it to Q2 with factory KTM riders Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder the closest in 13th and 14th.

They were followed by Bastianini’s team-mate Fabio Di Giannantonio, Tech3 KTM rider Remy Gardner and Alex Marquez, who crashed coming into the Turn 8/9 Vale chicane.

LCR Honda’s Marquez appeared angered by Bezzecchi following the crash after the two jostled for track position before Marquez misjudged the braking for the chicane and ended up in the gravel.

Marquez managed to get back on track and he qualified as Honda’s top rider in 17th place ahead of factory riders Stefan Bradl and Pol Espargaro.

Quartararo’s Yamaha team-mate Franco Morbidelli suffered his 10th straight Q1 exit as he struggled to 20th ahead of the second LCR Honda of Takaaki Nakagami who crashed in FP4.

Raul Fernandez suffered engine issues in FP4 and qualified eight tenths adrift of team-mate Gardner in 22nd place.

He will be joined on the back row of the grid by RNF Yahama duo Darryn Binder and Andrea Dovizioso.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team bike

Group 1

Group 2

1 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 1m57.767s
2 Maverick Vinales Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m57.865s
3 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m57,931s
4 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m57.938s
5 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m57.961s
6 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m57.966s
7 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1m58.756s 1m58.101s
8 Enea Bastianini Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1m58.609s 1m58.106s
9 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 1m58.174s
10 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1m58.317s
11 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1m58.318s
12 Joan Miro Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1m58.543s
13 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m58.853s
14 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m58.932s
15 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1m58.948s
16 Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m59.12s
17 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 1m59.288s
18 Stefan Bradli Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m59.339s
19 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m59.367s
20 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m59.39s
21 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1m59.614s
22 Raul Fernandez Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m59.92s
23 Darryn Binder WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1m59,931s
24 Andrea Dovizioso WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 2m0.232s

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