until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Espargaro takes surprise MotoGP pole after Martin confusion

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Pol Espargaro took his first MotoGP pole position as a Honda rider at Silverstone, albeit his celebrations were delayed by confusion over an illegal laptime by Jorge Martin.

Martin briefly left the MotoGP paddock in stunned silence by recording a 1m58.008s, which would’ve been a new lap record had it not been for the fact he cut the Turn 8-9 chicane at Club.

But that wasn’t immediately obvious and the laptime stood for a few minutes until it was finally taken off the board soon after the onboard of his corner cut was televised.

Points leader Fabio Quartararo’s very first timed effort in qualifying was the first sub-1m59s lap of the weekend, giving him provisional pole by three tenths over Ducati duo Francesco Bagnaia and Martin.

But Espargaro and Bagnaia both narrowly jumped ahead of Quartararo, whose late improvement was not enough to end what has been something of a mini-drought of pole positions.

Once Martin’s corner cut was accounted for, Espargaro got to celebrate an important pole, having struggled so far since his off-season switch from KTM.

Martin was relegated to fourth, ahead of Marc Marquez – who had to rebound from having his initial fast time deleted for track limits abuse at Chapel – and Aleix Espargaro, who is Aprilia’s sole rider this weekend following Lorenzo Savadori’s withdrawal.

Jack Miller (Ducati), Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha), Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) and Alex Rins (Suzuki) completed the top 10, the latter two having made it through Q1.

Joan Mir, who very narrowly escaped a crash in the pre-qualifying FP4, was only 11th for Suzuki, while KTM rider Brad Binder was the sole Q2 entrant to be more than a second adrift.

Avintia Ducati rookie Enea Bastianini looked in with a good chance of denying either Zarco or Rins a spot in Q2, having taken an early lead, but then fell in the final minutes of the first segment at the Farm corner.

He was demoted to third place and 13th on the starting grid, and will be joined on the fifth row by squadmate Luca Marini and LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami, who was left to rue Bastianini’s crash bringing out yellow flags.

Factory Yamaha stand-in Cal Crutchlow was 19th, followed by a still-struggling Miguel Oliveira (KTM) and newcomer Jake Dixon (Petronas Yamaha), who did manage what was by far the fastest lap of his weekend so far.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team Bike Group 1 Group 2
1 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m58.889s
2 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m58.911s
3 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m58.925s
4 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 1m59.074s
5 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m59.086s
6 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1m59.273s
7 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m59.368s
8 Valentino Rossi Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1m59.531s
9 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 1m59.288s 1m59.579s
10 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1m59.509s 1m59.639s
11 Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1m59.763s
12 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m59.977s
13 Enea Bastianini Avintia Esponsorama Racing Ducati 1m59.553s
14 Luca Marini SKY VR46 Avintia Team Ducati 1m59.764s
15 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1m59.881s
16 Danilo Petrucci Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m59.997s
17 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 2m0.117s
18 Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 2m0.131s
19 Cal Crutchlow Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2m0.217s
20 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 2m0.391s
21 Jake Dixon Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 2m0.869s
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