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BAGNAIA CLAIMS MAIDEN MOTOGP POLE IN QATAR

Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia claimed pole position after a record-breaking MotoGP qualifying session for the Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar | Auto Action
Francesco Bagnaia claims maiden MotoGP pole - Image: LAT

Rhys Vandersyde

Date posted: March 28, 2021

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia claimed pole position after a record-breaking MotoGP qualifying session for the Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar.

Earning the first pole position of his MotoGP career, the Italian rider set the fastest ever two-wheel lap around the Losail International Circuit with a time of 1m52.772s in his first qualifying session with the factory team.

Australian Jack Miller, also on a factory Ducati, was the first rider to set a time under the benchmark he set in testing with a 1m53.215s lap.

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo unseated Miller with a time of 1m53.038s, which would ultimately be good enough for second on the grid. The Frenchman’s teammate Maverick Vinales rounded out the front row with the third-fastest time.

Valentino Rossi showed he still has the pace - Images: LAT

Valentino Rossi showed he still has the pace – Images: LAT

Valentino Rossi showed he still has the pace to mix it up the front with the fourth-fastest time onboard the satellite Petronas Yamaha entry.

Miller dropped to fifth at the end of qualifying, while Johann Zarco on the Pramac Ducati was sixth.

Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) and Alex Rins (Suzuki) will make up the third row of the grid.

Reigning Champion Joan Mir managed to scrape his way through to Q2 before setting the 10th fastest time for Suzuki.

Takaaki Nakagami on the LCR Honda also had to progress his way through Q2, qualifying 11th ahead of the factory Repsol Honda entry of Pol Espargaro.

Moto2 Champion Enea Bastianini, on his debut in the top tier of the sport with the Esponsorama squad, qualified 13th. The fastest of those who failed to progress out of Q1.

Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM), Alex Marquez (LCR Honda), Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda), Luca Marini (Esponsorama Ducati), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM), Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM) and Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia) round out the grid.

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