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Maiden MotoGP Pole Position for Morbidelli

Maiden MotoGP Pole Position for Morbidelli

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 1-2 in Catalan GP qualifying.

A sensational performance from Franco Morbidelli saw him take his first-ever MotoGP pole position at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today. Team-mate Fabio Quartararo will join him on the front row, making it a PETRONAS Yamaha SRT qualifying 1-2 at the Catalan GP.

Morbidelli was unable to improve on his Friday time, until the very end of the FP3 session. After one lap was disallowed for exceeding track limits, Franco ended the session seventh with a best time of 1min 39.774secs. The Italian had no such struggles in qualifying, after setting a blisteringly quick time in the closing minutes – 1min 38.798secs – and securing his maiden MotoGP pole position.

Team-mate Quartararo was at the sharp end for the majority of FP3, before the time attacks began. The Frenchman showed his strength around the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit by setting the fastest lap, 1min 39.418secs, and going directly to Q2. Yellow flags hampered the start of his qualifying session, but Fabio soon recovered. His best time of 1min 39.008secs was just 0.210secs shy of his team-mate, and will see him start from second on the grid – his 20th MotoGP front row start.

The MotoGP pair will be back on track tomorrow morning for Warm Up at 10.40am local time (4.40pm MYT), with the 24-lap race due to get underway at 3pm local time (9pm MYT) – one hour later than usual.

Franco Morbidelli

"It was great to be first today; to see that I was the fastest is a really good feeling. It’s always difficult to beat Fabio on a hot lap, so I’m very happy about qualifying today. I was feeling great on the bike and I felt that I could push a lot, on both tyres as well. Now it’s a matter of trying to refine everything for tomorrow and we will try to make a good start. We have a good pace, but there are many riders with a similar pace to us. It will be important to try to improve a little bit more for tomorrow, but I’m sure it is going to be a good race. I also want to congratulate Valentino [Rossi] on one more year in MotoGP and tell him that he is moving to a great team. It will be nice to have him as a team-mate."

Fabio Quartararo

"I’m really happy to be on the front row again in Barcelona. I think it will be really important to make a good start tomorrow. I’m feeling confident on the bike. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow, but our pace looks great and I think the only problem we have is which tyre to choose. It’s a difficult decision, but I’m happy with the job that the team has done. We will see what it is like tomorrow and then make our decision. I’m sure everyone is in the same position, so let’s see what we can do. Regarding the official announcement of the agreement of Valentino [Rossi] and the team, I’m really happy for him, for the team, and also for me because I like having him on track."