MotoGP 2021: Fabio Quartararo takes pole at Portuguese MotoGP, Marc Marquez to start on second row

Marquez has wasted no time getting back in the thick of things nine months after his crash in the Spanish Grand Prix which ruled him out of the entire 2020 season, and the first two races this year.

Agence France-Presse April 17, 2021 21:28:00 IST
MotoGP 2021: Fabio Quartararo takes pole at Portuguese MotoGP, Marc Marquez to start on second row

File image of Fabio Quartararo. AP

Portimao: France's Fabio Quartararo, on a Yamaha, claimed the qualifying honours in style in Portimao on Saturday to take pole for the Portuguese MotoGP with returning six-time world champion Marc Marquez on the second row of Sunday's grid.

Marquez has wasted no time getting back in the thick of things nine months after his crash in the Spanish Grand Prix which ruled him out of the entire 2020 season, and the first two races this year.

Quartararo, winner of the Doha MotoGP last time out, secured the 11th pole of his career with a new lap record time of 1min 38.862sec, at the main expense of Alex Rins (Suzuki) and early championship leader Johann Zarco (Ducati-Pramac).

Honda star Marquez shares the second row with Ducati's Australian rider Jack Miller and Italian Franco Morbidelli for the Yamaha-SRT team.

Italian Francesco Bagnaia had set the quickest time but he had his lap wiped off the timesheets because of a yellow flag warning after a Miguel Oliveira crash, leaving Quartararo to suggest that "it doesn't feel like pole" and Bagnaia down in 11th.

The third row is occupied by the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro, Luca Marini, the half-brother to Valentino Rossi, and defending champion Joan Mir.

Mir is competing this weekend handicapped by a late change in his chief mechanic, absent after contracting COVID-19 .

Rossi, who swapped places with Quartararo in Yamaha's satellite SRT stable, qualified in only 17th.

Honda-LCR's Japanese rider Takaaki Nakagami (Honda-LCR) skipped qualifying after his crash on Friday in practice and will determine if he is race fit on Sunday morning.

Saturday practice was marred by a sickening crash that saw Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) stretchered off the track straight to hospital for further medical checks.

The Spaniard was conscious, but with contusions to his head, right hand and right ankle and misses the rest of the weekend.

Updated Date:

also read

Formula 1 2021: Lewis Hamilton tops Spanish GP second practice while Max Verstappen finishes distant ninth
Sports

Formula 1 2021: Lewis Hamilton tops Spanish GP second practice while Max Verstappen finishes distant ninth

Hamilton, who leads Verstappen by eight points in the Formula One standings, set the best time in the second session with a lap of 1 minute, 18.170 seconds.

Formula 1 2021: Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to resume title fight in Barcelona
Sports

Formula 1 2021: Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to resume title fight in Barcelona

Hamilton is seeking his fifth consecutive win in Catalonia, with three of his last four victories delivered from pole.

Formula 1 2021: Lewis Hamilton takes 100th career pole in Spanish Grand Prix qualifying
Sports

Formula 1 2021: Lewis Hamilton takes 100th career pole in Spanish Grand Prix qualifying

Hamilton pushed his Mercedes to a flying lap of 1 minute, 16.74 seconds. Verstappen in his Red Bull was only 0.03 seconds behind