Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia signaled a return to form by paddling his way into pole position for the Spanish MotoGP with a new track-record in Jerez on Sunday (AEST).
0.453 s faster than Italian world champion and current championship leader Fabio Quartaro, who ran the fastest lap ever on the track in 1 min 36.17 s.
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The pair will start the sixth GP of the 21-race season together on Sunday at the Jerez circuit in the predicted sunshine.
On an Aprilia Spaniard Alex Espargaro finished third in the front row with Australian Jack Miller and Frenchman Johann Zarko, both of whom were second on Hondas on Ducatis sandwiching Spaniard Marc Marquez.
After the qualifying session ended, Miller opened up about the “scary” damp patch near Turn 8 that could have had catastrophic consequences for the riders.
“I mean, even today they (the damp patch) are still on Turn 8,” Miller said.
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“8 It’s scary to go out there every time because it’s kind of off camaraderie and it’s like hiding behind a little bit and especially when you’re on a deserved lap, you’re going to hold your breath because you’re already Tire limits.
“You touch a small damp patch and that’s enough to set the bike off. We talked about this at the safety commission last night.”
Bagania, 25, ran Quartaro for the title in 2021 but had a poor start to the season, before declaring that he was “feeling better on the bike” after finishing eighth at last weekend’s race in Portugal. “Were starting. ,
Defending world champion Quartaro won last weekend and was happy with second place behind Ducati on Saturday.
“Mission accomplished. Although I didn’t expect to be half a second behind in second place,” said the Frenchman.
“I’m not sure what’s missing, but I wasn’t the only one who struggled with one lap.” Suzuki’s Alex Rins is co-leader in the standings after five GPs but is struggling in qualifying and will start on 14th.