Pol Takes Pole! Espargaro Heads A Front Row Covered By Just 0.036The Repsol Honda rider pips Bagnaia and Quartararo as hundredths split the top three over nearly 6km of Silverstone

Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) is back in business! After a tougher time of late, the Spaniard has hooked it up so far at Silverstone and in Q2, the number 44 hit a landmark run to take his first pole position since joining the Repsol Honda Team. It was incredibly close at the top, with Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) just 0.022 back and Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) locking out a top three split by just 0.036. Over a near 6km lap, it could hardly be any closer.

Q1
Q1 had a few fast faces looking to move through, not least of all 2019 Silverstone winner Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar). But after the first runs it was Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) leading the way, with a couple of tenths in hand over Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing).

The key drama then also came from Bastianini as the Italian, on another hot lap, lost the rear but somehow didn’t quite highside, nevertheless sliding out and that bringing out the Yellow Flags – cancelling the laps of Rins and Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol). Bastianini was up and ok and the track went green again, leaving one final push for those behind to try and oust the Italian.

Zarco and Rins did just that, the Suzuki taking over on top first before the Pramac rider pipped him, both leapfrogging Bastianini’s best to deny him a place in Q2.

Q2
After the first runs, Quartararo led Bagnaia led Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing), but there was some drama left in the tank. The first rider setting red sectors was Pol Espargaro and he took over on top, but Martin was on an absolute stunner – and shaved nine tenths off the number 44’s best in one fell swoop. But gaining over a second in one sector seemed a lot, even for the rookie sensation, and it turned out to be too much: Martin had cut the track, and the laptime was cancelled. So Pol Espargaro completed his impressive weekend so far with a first pole position at Repsol Honda, bouncing back in style from a difficult two weekends in Austria to pip ‘Pecco’ by just 0.022.

Bagnaia was bumped back up to second as Martin’s lap was cancelled, with Quartararo completing the front row after losing a little ground on Run 2, not able to find the grip he was expecting but still within an infinitesimal 0.036 of pole. Martin, nevertheless, takes fourth – and is therefore also top Independent Team rider.

The Grid
Pol Espargaro, Bagnaia and Championship leader Quartararo head up the grid, putting ‘Pecco’, the closest challenger, in a good position to try and deny El Diablo on Sunday. Martin heads up Row 2 ahead of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), the eight-time World Champion beaten to it by just 0.012. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completes the third row.

Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) had a tougher qualifying to line up seventh, 0.479 off the top, and the Aussie will be looking to make gains on Sunday. He’s joined by Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) as the Doctor continues a good vein of form at Silverstone, taking P8, with Johann Zarco forced to settle for ninth.

That leaves Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and Joan Mir down in P10 and P11, respectively, with the 2019 Silverstone winner and the reigning Champion looking for a classic quick comeback into the podium fight tomorrow. Austrian GP winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KM Factory Racing) is P12.

Then come Bastianini, Luca Marini (Sky VR46 Avintia) and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) in 15th.

That’s all she wrote on Saturday at Silverstone, all that’s left to do now is race. Tune in at the earlier time of 13:00 (GMT +1) on Sunday as MotoGP™ does battle in the Monster Energy British Grand Prix. Is it Quartararo’s to lose? Or does someone have something more up their sleeve?

MotoGP™ front row
1 Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team – Honda – 1:58.889
2 Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team – Ducati – +0.022
3 Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – Yamaha – +0.036

Top Independent Team rider
4 Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing – Ducati – +0.185

Pol Espargaro: “I was just celebrating like I’d won the race! For me it’s more than that, tomorrow is the race and when you get points but for me this is a huge step not just this year but in my whole career, even first or second row for me was already a winning weekend after this tough season, I’ve been struggling so much and so this is something psychological more than what we get, the award and tomorrow first place. It’s a big bubble of oxygen for all of us, especially for me, I was struggling a lot. Sometimes the hard work didn’t pay off but in this moment, when you keep working even when things aren’t going well, in the end this happens! So I will keep working hard even if the next races it doesn’t happen exactly the same, I’ll try and keep it up.”

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Pol Takes Pole! Espargaro Heads A Front Row Covered By Just 0.036
MotoGP™ front row L-R: Quartararo, Pol Espargaro and Bagnaia

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