JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, Spain – Petronas Yamaha SRT rider Fabio Quartararo continued his strong start to the MotoGP season with his second-straight pole Saturday at Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto.
Quartararo put down a 1:37.007 during Q2 to claim the pole, but he nearly lost the top spot to Monster Energy Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales.
Vinales actually set a faster lap than Quartararo, but Vinales saw his lap time deleted after he exceeded track limits. That put Quartararo on the pole, though Vinales still managed to put down the second fastest lap of the session to qualify second.
Third went to Pramac Racing rookie Francesco Bagnaia, who secured his first front row start in MotoGP competition.
Valentino Rossi qualified fourth on the second Monster Energy Yamaha bike to lead the second row, followed by Red Bull KTM’s Miguel Oliveira and the second Petronas Yamaha SRT bike of Franco Morbidelli.
Jack Miller will start seventh for Pramac Racing ahead of LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami, Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder and Suzuki’s Joan Mir.
Marc Marquez, who was attempting to make a an incredible return after fracturing his right humerus in the MotoGP opener last Sunday and undergoing a few days ago, but only completed his out lap in Q1 before retiring his Repsol Honda entry for the remainder of the weekend.