Marquez Nips Quartararo In Aragon Qualifying

Marquez Nips Quartararo
Marc Marquez has signed a multi-year contract extension to remain with the Honda Racing Corp. (Honda photo)

ALCANIZ, Spain – Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez edged out Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo to secure the pole for the Michelin Grand Prix of Aragon during qualifying on Saturday morning at Motorland Aragón.

Marquez turned a lap around the 3.155-mile, 16-turn circuit in 1:47.009, .327 seconds better than Quartararo’s best time of 1:47.336 in the final round of qualifying.

That was enough for the defending champion to secure his ninth MotoGP pole of the season and the 61st of his premier class career.

“I feel really good this weekend, much better than (I did) in Misano,” noted Marquez, who is seeking his eighth MotoGP win of the year on Sunday. “Pole position was important, but it’s true that the fastest lap of the weekend was in FP1! I expected more from the second run, but I made a couple of mistakes. I knew I had to control the risk a little bit as the wind direction had changed today and it was more disturbing than yesterday.

“In FP4 I had a strong rhythm, and this is the most important point,” Marquez continued. “The Yamaha riders aren’t far (behind) and we have to keep an eye on the weather, so still … there is a lot that could happen (on Sunday).”

Maverick Vinales will roll off from the outside of the front row on his factory Yamaha bike, qualifying third at 1:47.472, while Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaró made it four different constructors inside the top five.

Valentino Rossi was sixth on the second factory Yamaha, ahead of independent Cal Crutchlow, Franco Morbidelli, Joan Mir and Andrea Dovizioso.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro crashed in FP4 and suffered a fractured left wrist. As a result, the rider of the No. 44 will miss the rest of his home Grand Prix.