BARCELONA, Spain – Just 11 days after undergoing arm pump surgery in Barcelona, rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo flew to his second-career MotoGP pole during qualifying for the Catalan Grand Prix on Saturday.
Quartararo lapped the 2.892-mile, 16-turn Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 1:39.484 to put his Petronas Yamaha SRT entry on the front of the grid for Sunday’s race.
The rookie edged five-time and defending premier class champion Marc Marquez by .015 seconds for the pole position, with a shot to become the youngest premier class winner in history should he hold on for the victory on race day.
Marquez finished Q2 in second on his Repsol Honda, with a time of 1:39.499 placing him in the middle of the front row alongside Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales, who completed the top three on the grid and was two tenths of a second adrift of the pole.
Marquez’s run at the pole was squelched at turn four on his final flying lap, after his rear tire slid wide and cost him precious tenths of a second on the stopwatch.
An all-Italian second row sees Quartararo’s teammate, Franco Morbidelli, starting alongside the second factory Yamaha of Valentino Rossi and the factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso.
The second Ducati of Danilo Petrucci, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins, LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow and the sister Repsol Honda of Jorge Lorenzo completed the top 10 starters.