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Jerez: Quartararo takes shock pole

Yamaha 1-2, Marquez 3rd
Saturday, May 4, 2019


Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) becomes the youngest ever MotoGP pole sitter at 20 years, 14 days after setting a new Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto lap record in qualifying, a 1:36.880 seeing the Frenchman beat teammate Franco Morbidelli by 0.082 as the new Petronas Yamaha SRT outfit lockout the front of the grid. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) had to settle for third after losing out by a slender 0.090 to Quartararo.

It was Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) who led the field onto their first flying laps and stalking the number 99 was teammate Marquez, and the reigning World Champion was able to take full advantage of Lorenzo’s draft to set a 1:36.970 straight out the blocks. A formidable first benchmark as Marquez then pulled straight in, seemingly attempting the two-stop strategy.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) went to second before Free Practice leader Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) emerged as Marquez’ closest challenger in the early stages of Q2 – the gap over three tenths though. But it wasn’t for long, Morbidelli was fourth after his first flyer but on his second attempt, the Italian went within a tenth of Marquez’ provisional pole time as 0.7 split the top 12 after the first set of runs, Quartararo sitting fifth at this point.

Marquez emerged on his second set of Michelin slicks before the rest and it was looking good for the Honda rider to move the goal posts further from his rivals, but he lost time in the last sector and it was as you were when the rest of the field ventured back out on fresh rubber. After a solid weekend so far, Lorenzo’s qualifying ended early after a crash at Turn 2 – rider ok. Not the birthday present the five-time World Champion was looking for.

Back on track and it wasn’t long before a certain 20-year-old was setting the timing screens alight, but would he be able to hold his advantage? Absolutely. Quartararo went P1 with a blistering 1:36.880 - the best lap of the weekend and a new lap record. It was far from over though, Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) was on a very hot lap and was threatening Quartararo’s time, but the Italian lost time in the last sector and slotted into fourth. And what about Morbidelli? The Italian was pushing hard and propelled himself into P2, 0.082 off his teammate and 0.008 ahead of Marquez.

Marquez came up just short
Marquez came up just short

At this point, Marquez was gearing up for his third run. A tenth down in the first sector wasn’t what he was looking for and, in true 93 fashion, he was on ragged edge – but this proved costly. Out of shape at Pedrosa Corner and a huge front end slide at Turn 7 ended his pole position hopes, handing Quartararo his maiden MotoGP P1 grid slot start, four years on from his maiden Grand Prix pole at Jerez, as Petronas Yamaha SRT take a sensational Spanish GP qualifying 1-2. The last time that happened? Sete Gibernau and Marco Melandri at the 2005 Chinese GP.

Marquez completes the front row, he loses his youngest premier class pole crown to Quartararo but starts just ahead of Dovizioso in fourth. Q1 graduate Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) will launch from P5 after a good second run in Q2 to finish 0.234 from pole, last year’s pole man Crutchlow completes the second row in sixth. Petrucci, a late crasher at Turn 1, starts seventh after looking strong all weekend. The Italian only 0.3 from P1 as he’s joined by Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) - his best qualifying in the premier class - and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) on the third row.

Marquez said afterward, “I’m very happy for the front row, normally here we struggle a bit more to put one fast lap together. The most important part is that we have prepared well for the race and tomorrow we can understand our level compared to everyone else’s. We have to wait a little bit to see what the temperature does tomorrow. Congratulations to Fabio Quartararo who took the record of youngest pole setter from me, he did a really good job today. Tomorrow it will be a good race with a mix of names at the front.”


1 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha 1m36.880s 0.000s
2 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha 1m36.962s 0.082s
3 Marc Marquez Honda 1m36.970s 0.090s
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m37.018s 0.138s
5 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 1m37.114s 0.234s
6 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1m37.175s 0.295s
7 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1m37.209s 0.329s
8 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 1m37.332s 0.452s
9 Alex Rins Suzuki 1m37.351s 0.471s
10 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati 1m37.384s 0.504s
11 Jorge Lorenzo Honda 1m37.496s 0.616s
12 Joan Mir Suzuki 1m37.514s 0.634s
13 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m37.371s -
14 Stefan Bradl Honda 1m37.406s -
15 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 1m37.605s -
16 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1m37.625s -
17 Pol Espargaro KTM 1m37.798s -
18 Johann Zarco KTM 1m37.820s -
19 Bradley Smith Aprilia 1m38.357s -
20 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 1m38.403s -
21 Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati 1m38.447s -
22 Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM 1m38.894s -
23 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 KTM 1m40.042s -
24 Andrea Iannone Aprilia 1m38.327s -

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