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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP to Start Aragon Attack from P3 and P15

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP to Start Aragon Attack from P3 and P15

Fabio Quartararo was keen to enter the fight for pole at the MotorLand Aragón track. Though in the end the ever-competitive Yamaha man had to settle for 3rd place, he still keeps his front-row-start run going from the 2021 Portuguese GP on. Cal Crutchlow also had two good runs in Q1. He secured 15th place on the grid.

The level was sky-high in today‘s qualifying sessions at the MotorLand Aragón track. Knowing that a good starting place at the Gran Premio de Aragón can make all the difference, Fabio Quartararo and Cal Crutchlow left it all on the track in Q1 and Q2, securing 3rd and 15th place respectively.

Quartararo was buzzing with energy at the start of Q2. He loves qualifying and was even more excited after spotting on the stands some of his many dedicated fans who had travelled to the Teruel track. Only after all other Q2 riders had started their time attack, the Frenchman began his first run, keen to set his fast laps without any riders following him. His first hot lap saw him slot into third, with a 0.001s gap to the rider in second place. With red sectors flashing all over the live-timing screens, the Yamaha man dug deep and produced a 1‘46.727s that put him on provisional pole.

With six minutes on the clock, El Diablo headed back to pit lane. A quick peek at the timesheets told him he had, at the time, a 0.151s advantage over the rider in second place. One and a half minute later, the number-20 rider started his second run. He had his work cut out for him when a rival set a new All Time Lap Record. Quartararo pushed to the limit, but his 1‘46.719s ultimately earned him third place, with a 0.397s margin to first – his twelfth front-row start of the season.

Crutchlow waited for the majority of the riders to leave pit lane ahead of him before commencing his Q1 challenge. His benchmark lap moved him straight up to fourth place, but the times were dropping fast. The Briton responded with a 1‘47.946s lap, reclaiming fourth place, though by the time he made it back to pit lane he was in fifth.

With almost five minutes remaining, the number-35 rider resumed his shoot-out. He had time to put in two more hot laps, and he saved the best for last. He posted a 1‘47.613s on lap 7/7 to take fifth in the Q1 timesheets, with a 0.320s gap to first. This result will have Crutchlow start the Aragon GP from 15th place on the grid.

Fabio Quartararo

"Third position is fine. Our goal is always to be on the front row, so I‘m happy. And even if I wasn‘t happy about it, I would still be starting from this position. The small run-off on my penultimate lap didn‘t cost me anything. I can‘t make Sector 4 any faster, I‘m already pushing so much there. It‘s not just the bike, I‘ve always been struggling a little bit in the last corner. I was feeling good on the bike today, but it was so difficult to reach pole position. Let‘s see what we can achieve tomorrow. Our pace is great, maybe not the best, but I will do my best. I think it‘s important for us to keep working in a really good way, so we can achieve the best result possible. Anyway, it‘s great to see the fans on the grandstands again! I have been getting some great support from them. That‘s really good."

Cal Crutchlow

"Obviously, yesterday was a good day. This morning was also good, but I missed out on the top 10 to go into Q2. That would have probably been a lot easier situation to be in. But overall we‘re happy. At the end of the day, I believe we have done a good job this weekend. Our pace has been fast, and for a test rider I think it has been respectable and not too bad at all. I didn‘t qualify well because I made a mistake in the last sector in the last corner. I was last in this sector actually, which is probably my best sector at this circuit normally. So, I‘m a little disappointed with that. But the whole Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team have been working great, and we look forward to seeing what we can do tomorrow."

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

"We can be satisfied with the work we have done today. Naturally, Fabio wanted to challenge for pole. The goal was a front-row start again for him, and he achieved that. Cal did a good job overall too. He wasn‘t fully satisfied with his qualifying performance, but in general he seems to be getting more and more comfortable with the bike. He is improving his rhythm, and his starting position has also improved accordingly, so we look forward to seeing how competitive he can be in tomorrow‘s race. We expect it will be a hard fight. We know the level is high here, and this track doesn‘t favour our bike, but we won‘t for a second let that slow us down. We will be analysing all of today‘s data to find some last set-up improvements that we can implement and test in Warm Up. Tyre management will no doubt play a crucial role in the outcome of tomorrow's GP. We look forward to a great battle."