Espargaro breaks lap record twice to claim Catalunya GP pole

The Aprilia rider pips Francesco Bagnaia for his second pole of the season; Fabio Quartarao to start from third spot.

Published : Jun 04, 2022 19:18 IST , BARCELONA

Aleix Espargaro celebrates after taking pole.
Aleix Espargaro celebrates after taking pole.

Aleix Espargaro celebrates after taking pole.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro broke the lap record twice in hot conditions to claim his second pole of the season at the Catalunya Grand Prix in Barcelona on Saturday.

At his home race, Espargaro had set the pace in practice and the Spaniard carried his form into the second qualifying session where he finished top with a time of one minute 38.742 seconds, pipping Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia to top spot.

“I have no idea (how I did it). It was the most difficult lap of the season so far. The conditions were super, super tricky,” Espargaro said in a pit lane interview.

‘All or nothing’

“It was all or nothing. I did an absolutely crazy lap, sliding everywhere. I actually didn’t really enjoy the lap. I was on the limit every single corner.”

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Yamaha’s World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo, who leads Espargaro by eight points, set the third-fastest time to seal a spot on the front row. “Today the goal was to get on the first two rows and we got the front row, I’m happy,” said Quartararo, who had struggled with tyre grip on Friday.

Johann Zarco, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Jorge Martin gave Ducati bikes a second row lockout.

Enea Bastianini, who has won three races this season to sit third in the standings, did not advance to the second qualifying session and the Gresini Racing rider will start 14th on the grid for Sunday’s race.

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