Sunday's race, held in front of empty stands due to the pandemic, provides Morbidelli with a chance to clinch second place in the world championship behind Mir.
Pole-sitter Franco Morbidelli won the race for this third victory of the season, but it was not enough to keep Mir from securing the title with one race to go
MotoGP 2020: Australian Jack Miller tops Valencia MotoGP practice, championship leader Joan Mir crashes
Mir suffered a late blip at the Ricardo Tormo circuit when he came off at Turn 4 with 11 minutes to go, an error that saw him drop to 11th in the standings.
Mir took advantage of title rival Fabio Quartararo's first-lap crash while compatriot Alex Rins ensured a one-two finish for Suzuki, the first for the Japanese manufacturer since 1982.
Championship leader Joan Mir, who like Espargaro has never won in the premier division, will start from the second row.
Teruel MotoGP: Franco Morbidelli wins after Takaaki Nakagami crash; Joan Mir stays in championship lead
Morbidelli crossed the finish line more than two seconds ahead of Álex Rins, with Joan Mir coming in third place after starting 12th.
MotoGP 2020: Takaaki Nakagami grabs maiden pole in Teruel GP qualifying, championship leader Joan Mir in 12th
The 28-year-old Nakagami, who signed a new deal with Honda's satellite team earlier this week, posted a fastest lap of one minute and 46.882 seconds.
Alex Rins sliced through the field after starting 10th on the grid. He became the 8th winner in this season's ten races after the vacuum created by the early season injury to reigning champion Marc Marquez.
It is the ninth pole of Quartaro's MotoGP career and the first since the Andalusia GP at the end of July.
Joan Mir came through to take second and is now eight points behind Fabio Quartararo in the standings while Alex Rins completed the podium.
MotoGP 2020: Yamaha's Maverick Vinales wins Emilia-Romagna MotoGP to within one point of championship lead
The young Italian led by a second and a half at one stage and was still on course for a first victory for himself and Ducati-Pramac when he leant a bit too far unto a corner with seven laps to go and slid off.
Dovizioso avoided a string of crashes and narrow escapes notably that of Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli and Frenchman Johann Zarco.