Zarco Claims Surprise MotoGP Pole

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Johann Zarco claimed the pole for the MotoGP Czech Grand Prix at the Brno Circuit. (MotoGP Photo)
Johann Zarco claimed the pole for the MotoGP Czech Grand Prix at the Brno Circuit. (MotoGP Photo)

BRNO, Czech Republic – Johann Zarco shocked the MotoGP field by claiming the pole for the Czech Grand Prix Saturday at the Brno Circuit.

Zarco, riding for Esponsorama Racing, used a late flying lap to steal the pole with a time of 1:55.687. It’s the sixth MotoGP pole for Zarco and the first for the Frenchman since 2018. The pole position is the first for the Esponsorama Racing team.

Championship leader Fabio Quartararo fell just short of his fifth-straight MotoGP pole for Petronas Yamaha SRT. He fell .303 seconds off Zarco’s lap, settling for second as he pursues his third-straight MotoGP triumph to open the season.

Quartararo’s teammate, Franco Morbidelli, wound up third fastest to complete the front row for Sunday’s race.

Aleix Espargaro will lead the second row after qualifying fourth for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini. Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales took fifth, with Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro completing the second row in sixth.

The second Red Bull KTM entry of Brad Binder qualified seventh, followed by Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir. Valentino Rossi completed the top-10 for Monster Energy Yamaha, followed by Alex Rins of Suzuki and LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow.