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Jun 15, 2019

MotoGP: More From The Catalan Grand Prix

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy of Dorna.

Quartararo takes on Marquez as Yamaha make it a tight battle at the top in Barcelona

The rookie bests the reigning Champion, Viñales third quickest before a three-place penalty

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) has done it again. The French rookie followed up going fastest on Friday by taking his second pole position in the premier class despite still recovering from arm pump surgery, and that despite suffering his first ever crash in MotoGP™ during FP3. It was close between the two men at the top in qualifying, however, and the number 20 only just beat reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) to pole by 0.015. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was third fastest as Saturday proved a top day for Yamaha, but the number 12 subsequently received a three-place grid penalty and will be bumped back to the second row.

An infinitesimal 0.001 advantage for Viñales means Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) just missed out on a place in the fastest trio, but the Italian was impressive and will start from the front row after the Spaniard's penalty. A huge crash in the morning prefaced a trip through Q1, but the number 21 bounced back in qualifying and just got the better of compatriot Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) in Q2, who was the fifth fastest but now heads the second row. Rossi’s 1:39.753 was the lap that meant all four Yamahas were inside the fastest five in qualifying for the first time since Brno 2012 after a phenomenal showing from the Iwata marque.

Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) continues the Italian invasion near the front as he was sixth quickest and now starts fifth after improving on his second run and gaining a place as Viñales takes his penalty. 'DesmoDovi' was the fastest Ducati in qualifying, and although teammate Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) wasn't far behind, Viñales will now split the two on the grid. Petrucci suffered a crash in Q2, as did the man just behind him: Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar).

Rins was on a hot lap when he went down and with only two minutes left on the clock, the Spaniard didn't have chance to improve. So it's P8 for him and he needs another stellar first few laps like Mugello, where he picked his way through to perfection from 13th on the grid. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) starts alongside the Suzuki rider, but a few tenths in arrears.

Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) finished just 0.048 off Crutchlow to line up tenth for his home Grand Prix, with the five-time World Champion having gone straight through to Q2. Q1 graduate and rookie Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) took 11th place, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro launching from P12 at a true home race for the rider born only kilometers from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

One name missing from the normal Q2 mix was Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), who faces a fight back from P14, and he'll be one of many to watch when the lights go out. Can Quartararo race away from pole? It's his last chance to beat Marquez to the record of youngest winner. Or can Marquez beat him to the holeshot? Yamaha look strong, Rossi is a record-breaker in Barcelona, Ducati always bring the pace on race don’t want to miss Round 7 of the season from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with MotoGP™ coming your way at 14:00 local time on Sunday (GMT+2).

Qualifying results:

1 - Fabio Quartararo* (FRA - Yamaha) 1'39.484

2 - Marc Marquez (SPA - Honda) +0.015

3 - Maverick Viñales (SPA - Yamaha) +0.226

*Independent Team rider

Fernandez takes first pole, top six within a tenth in Moto2™

The Spaniard took a first podium the last time he rode on home turf. This time it's pole

Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) has been impressive so far in 2019 and qualifying for the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya was no exception. The Spaniard took his first ever pole position from veteran intermediate class campaigner Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) in Barcelona by just 0.021, with the front row covered by just 0.029 in total as Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) took P3.

The close battle at the top didn't end there, with all three riders on the second row qualifying within a tenth of the top. Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) took P4, edging out an impressing performance from rookie teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio, with Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) sixth fastest. Marquez has won the last two races, and is exactly a tenth off pole...

Marquez' key title rival Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP 40) spearheads the third row of the grid in seventh – the Italian improving on his final flying lap to get into the top ten – ahead of rookie Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46), with Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) completing an all-Italian Row 3. His teammate, Enea Bastianini, was just half a tenth in arrears to take P10.

Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) crashed during Q2, rider ok, but the Australian will line up 11th, ahead of Mugello polesitter Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Italian GP podium finisher Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) just behind.

How will different conditions in the morning shake up the grid? It may well be cooler at race time. With such tight timesheets, you can't miss the intermediate class in action at 12:20 local time (GMT+2).

Qualifying results:

1 - Augusto Fernandez (SPA - Kalex) 1'44.170

2 - Tom Lüthi (SWI - Kalex) +0.021

3 - Sam Lowes (GBR - Kalex) +0.029

Rodrigo bests rookie Ogura to become seventh different polesitter in a row

Argentinean takes his fourth career pole position by just 0.021 in Barcelona

Another day, another record broken in Moto3™: Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) became the seventh different polesitter in the opening seven races of the season at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, taking his fourth career pole position by just 0.021 ahead of a stunning session for Japanese rookie Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia). It's the first time since the introduction of the category in 2012 that the first seven pole positions have all been taken by different riders, and if Rodrigo can win on Sunday he would become the 12th different winner in a row, as well as the seventh different winner this year. And if he is the magnificent seventh different winner? It'll be the first time it's happened in the lightweight class since 1988.

Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) completes the front row and he'll be the first aiming to stand in Rodrigo's way and become the first repeat winner of the year, but the second row has some serious threats to contend with too. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) has been on both the pace and the podium this season, but he's yet to visit to top step – something not true of Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), who lines up alongside him. The Championship leader will be aiming to win his second race of the season. Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) completes the second row, a Grand Prix winner already last year but another potential addition to the record-breaking roll in 2019.

Friday's fastest Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) heads up Row 3 ahead of Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) after a crash for the man second in the standings, with John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) starting ninth. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) completes the top ten.

Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) was eighth quickest but is the first of seven riders to have received grid penalties. Six have 12-place penalties: Masia, Championship contender Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46), Kazuki Masaki (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race), Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai) and Filip Salac (Redox PruestelGP). Vicente Perez (Reale Avintia Arizona 77) has a six-place penalty.

Will more history be made on Sunday? Can Rodrigo become the first Argentinean winner in the lightweight class and add to the incredible roll we're on in 2019? The lights go out for the Moto3™ race at 11:00 (GMT +2).

Qualifying results:

1 - Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG - Honda) 1'48.450

2 - Ai Ogura (JPN - Honda) +0.021

3 - Tony Arbolino (ITA - Honda) +0.314

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:

Oliveira and Syahrin progress on second day of the Catalan GP

The Red Bull KTM Tech3 pair continued their way towards the front of the MotoGP field today at the sunny Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Premier class rookie Miguel Oliveira lowered his lap time today and managed to even crack the 1:41s mark in Qualifying. He missed out on a possible Q2 by just 0.74 seconds and will launch off the line from row seven tomorrow.

At the same time, Hafizh Syahrin performed well at one of his favorite tracks today. Compared to FP1 he went 1.609 seconds faster in Q1 this afternoon and finished the all-important session just 0.087 seconds behind his teammate in P11. The Malaysian will eventually start the Catalan GP at 14.00 local time on Sunday from row seven as well.

Miguel Oliveira

Position: 20th

Time: 1:40.752

Laps: 8

“It has been a tough day. To be honest, we worked very hard to reduce the gap and we managed, but it’s just that the whole grid is very, very tight and we have only one second from third to 20th position, which is where I am. All the four KTM’s are within four tenths, so it will be interesting to see tomorrow, if we can keep a good pace for the race. Most importantly, we have to finish the race and we know it’s going to be a tough one with the heat to manage the tyres. We still have to analyze which tyre to use for tomorrow. But for now, we just relax and look forward to tomorrow’s race.”

Hafizh Syahrin

Position: 21st

Time: 1:40.839

Laps: 8

“Overall, I felt really good in Qualifying today. We are very close to the rest and I hope we can find a good race pace tomorrow. Now we need to decide if we chose a soft or medium tyre for the race. At the moment, we are still at 50-50, so we will decide after the Warm Up tomorrow morning. I hope we can do well in the race. The important thing is to enjoy it and not to do any mistakes or feel any pressure. Let’s see what we can do on Sunday.”

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini:


The grip conditions on the Spanish Montmelò track did not improve during the second day of practice, complicated by asphalt temperatures reaching 50°C in the afternoon. For the Aprilia riders, this meant working in anticipation of the race on tyre choices and the best setup for tomorrow’s 24 laps.

In FP4, the most indicative session from this point of view, Andrea and Aleix both started with used tyres, demonstrating a rather consistent pace over the long distance. Bradley, on the other hand, assessed the two solutions, soft and medium, in order to gather as much informations as possible.

Unfortunately, the results they had hoped for did not arrive in qualifying, with Aleix having to settle for sixth row and Andrea forced to abort his second outing due to a technical problem with the ride-by-wire on his RS-GP. So, it is looking like it will be a race from behind for the Aprilia trio, on the hunt for a top-10 finish.


"Today I gave everything I had, but it was impossible to do any more. Our starting position does not satisfy us, that much is clear, but in FP4 I was able to do a full 22 laps with the soft rear tyre, maintaining a good pace. If we are able to keep that pace in the race, we’ll be able to battle for the top ten again. It will be a difficult race for everyone, very physical, with low grip and high temperatures on the asphalt. In these conditions, I know that we’ll be able to be competitive in the finale, so I’ll be on the attack from the first lap."


"In today’s sessions I was able to find a good feeling, compatibly with our expectations. I got very close to Aleix, which is a point of reference, given his experience with this bike, especially in FP4 that was done in race configuration. Evaluating my pace, I think that today it would have been more reasonable to aim for the top 15 in qualifying - a position that would certainly have made life easier in the race. Unfortunately, hard luck reared its head. The bike switched off on pit lane and by the time I went out with the second bike, it was too late. We’ll have to battle tomorrow too. We’ll try to start well and make up as many positions as possible."


"From a performance point of view, today was a good day. The situation in terms of tyres is still a bit complicated. A lot of riders seem to be leaning toward the soft rear, but the choice is not so clear. We are still struggling in acceleration, especially when the asphalt heats up, but overall, I have a good feeling. Now we’ll analyse the data from all three riders. We already have a few ideas that we want to test in warm-up."

More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:

Quartararo storms to second MotoGP pole position at Catalan GP

French rookie sets best time in qualifying in Barcelona, with team-mate Franco Morbidelli fourth.



PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team enjoyed a fantastic qualifying session at the Catalan GP where Fabio Quartararo set the best time of the day, obtaining his second pole position as a MotoGP rider. Franco Morbidelli finished in fourth place - just 1 thousandth of a second off the front row.

Quartararo followed up his pole position at the Spanish GP in Jerez and front row start for the Italian GP with another exquisite qualifying showing in Barcelona. The rookie clocked a 1min 39.484secs lap on his second run in Q2, clinching the top spot.

Morbidelli also enjoyed a positive Saturday. After successfully making it through Q1 with a 1min 393.727secs lap - the best time of the session - he carried his form over to Q2. The Italian was fourth quickest in that session. His 1min 39.711secs lap only just denied him a second front row start of the campaign.

The PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders were fast in FP3. Quartararo finished in second position in the morning session with a best time of 1min 39.583secs, despite suffering a light crash at Turn 2. Morbidelli fell harder at Turn 13 on his last run, which led to him finishing 13th. He would have to go through Q1 thanks to his 1min 40.079secs lap, and undergo a check-up at the medical centre to confirm that he was unhurt in the incident.

Tomorrow's 24-lap MotoGP race will take place at 2pm local time.

#21 Franco Morbidelli

"First of all, I have to thank the team, because they repared the bike very well between FP3 and FP4. The crash in the morning was painful, and I didn't know what to expect in the afternoon. We managed to have a good FP4 and a good qualifying session coming through Q1, so it has been a great day. We have to see the conditions and how the bike will behave tomorrow, although our pace has been good throughout the weekend. We're confident and now it's a matter of fixing some things tonight and going for it tomorrow in the race. I want to congratulate Fabio Quartararo and the team for the pole position they achieved today."

#20 Fabio Quartararo

"I'm lost for words. We put in two quick laps, and also our pace this morning and this afternoon were very good. We still have to analyse the tyres, but I'm very happy after today. I'm particularly pleased to have come here in good shape after my operation last week. We will see how my arm holds up tomorrow, because today it did so very well. I want to thank the team for all the work they are doing. It's an incredible feeling."

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Marquez continues perfect front row record, Lorenzo qualifies tenth

Under a second decided the front four rows of the grid for Sunday’s Catalan GP, Marc Marquez missing pole by only 0.015s with Lorenzo back in the top ten.

Grandstands at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya were filled from early in the day on Saturday, fans rewarded with one of the closest qualifying sessions of the year.

Reigning World Champion Marc Marquez started his Saturday in Barcelona attacking for a fast time, setting a 1’39.923 to advance directly into Q2. After a productive Free Practice 4 session focusing on long runs, Marquez entered Q2 with pole in his sights. Unfortunately a mistake at Turn 4 on his final flying lap saw the home hero lose time and miss pole by just 0.015s. The second place grid slot continues Marquez’s perfect run of front row starts in 2019.

Having elected to save fresh tyres for FP3, Jorge Lorenzo put in a 1’39.949 on his final run of the session and advanced directly to Q2 for the third time in 2019. As he has throughout the weekend, Lorenzo was able to post competitive times throughout the 15-minute session. A 1’40.199 will see Lorenzo head the fourth row of the grid for Sunday’s race.

Lights for the 24-lap Catalan Grand Prix are set to go out at 14:00 local time on Sunday, June 16.

Marc Marquez

2ND 1'39.499

“If we think about the whole weekend, today I'm very happy. We achieved our target of being on the front row but really today we were ready to be on pole position but I made mistake at Turn 4 on the last lap. Quartararo did a great job today. Apart from that we are happy as we have the pace and the rhythm, especially in FP4 on used tyres I was very constant. Let’s try to understand where we can get an advantage, analyse everything and enjoy Sunday at the home GP!”

Jorge Lorenzo

10TH 1'40.199

“This has been one of our most consistent weekends of the year, it’s positive to see this improvement. I think we have made a step forward and hopefully we can finish this race better than the previous ones. Everything we have done has made me more comfortable on the bike. Our pace on the long run is quite strong so I think we can continue this progress in the race and then make another step on Monday.”

More, from a press release issued by Mission Winnow Ducati:

Dovizioso, sixth in qualifying, seizes second row ahead of the Grand Prix of Catalunya. Petrucci seventh on the grid

The Mission Winnow Ducati team resumed action today at Montmeló (Spain) for the qualifying session of the Grand Prix of Catalunya, the seventh round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship. In sunny weather conditions – with 25 degrees in the atmosphere and almost 50 on the tarmac – Andrea Dovizioso seized second row on the starting grid for tomorrow's race in sixth position, preceding his teammate Danilo Petrucci, who leads the third row in seventh place, just 67 thousandths of a second behind his teammate.

Both riders gained direct access to Q2 after finishing FP3 in sixth and eighth position respectively with only four tenths of a second separating the top ten riders. Despite the increasing track temperatures and, consequently, lower grip levels, Dovizioso basically equalled his personal best – set in the morning during FP3 – in the second and decisive qualifying session to post a 1:39.777, only 0.297 seconds slower than the pole position time. Petrucci, who significantly improved his feeling with the Desmosedici GP, took 74 thousandths of a second off his lap times in Q2 to finish in 1:39.844.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:39.777 (6th)

"I'm happy with our starting position because today the track conditions were particularly tricky in terms of grip and it was really easy to make mistakes, so to start tomorrow's race from the top two rows is OK. The race pace remains to be seen because grip is really low, as we can infer from the slower lap times compared with the past. We had another example also in FP4, during which the riders tried practically every possible combination of tyres, which means there are still questions to be answered. We worked well so far and we are in the front group, but gaps are really narrow and it's difficult to gauge the potential of our rivals. We're competitive but we'll need to be very smart tomorrow and manage the race without making mistakes."

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:39.844 (7th)

"Today we started off on the right foot and we've been fast since the very first laps. Even during FP4, despite our final position, we were competitive as we only rode with used tyres. In qualifying I was able to set a good lap time right away, but when I was coming back to the pits I crashed at a very low speed. Unfortunately, when I got out on track with the second bike, I couldn't find the same feeling and I wasn't able to improve further. Grip levels are much lower than last year, and I expect a tricky race with many variables to manage, from tyre wear to overall consistency. As for us, we focused on tyre management over the race distance so I'm confident we'll be able to put up a fight tomorrow as well."

The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume track action tomorrow, June 16th, at 09:40 (CET) for a warm-up session ahead of the race, which is scheduled to start at 14:00.

More, from a press release issued by Team ECSTAR Suzuki:


Alex Rins: 8th - 1:39.870

Joan Mir: 11th - 1:40.240

Sylvain Guintoli 23rd - 1:41.270

• Alex Rins with fantastic rhythm before costly crash.

•Joan Mir proves pace as he flies into Q2.

•Team ready to tackle Barcelona with three riders.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya played host to a day of incredibly tight times between the entire MotoGP field.

Alex Rins and Joan Mir began the morning’s FP3 session in high spirits following a positive Day 1 in Barcelona. With every rider keen to secure a place in Q2, the session became fast and furious, with 17 riders covered by one second. And amazingly, at the end of FP3, the Top 10 were all within just 0.402 of a second. Rins showed his promising pace early on and he topped FP3 with a great 1:39.547 lap. Joan Mir looked strong and placed himself within the Top 10 a couple of times during the session, before being bumped down the order to 14th when the chequered flag came out.

FP4 provided an opportunity for the three Suzuki riders to make their final adjustments and try their tyre options for the race.

Mir had a battle on his hands in the competitive Q1 session, but the rookie kept his cool and proved his pace by holding onto an impressive 2nd place and graduating to Q2. Meanwhile, Sylvain Guintoli took 13th in the session to start 23rd on the grid.

Q2 was bound to be a thrilling session, with hot laps coming in from many riders. Rins put in several very quick lap times and was on a promising flying lap when he went down at Turn 10. Without time to rejoin the session, he got shuffled down to 8th. Mir worked well to secure an 11th place grid spot, just one row behind his team-mate.

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

“We can be happy today because we’ve done a good job and Alex was fast in all the sessions. Unfortunately, he had a crash during Q2, which was a shame because we feel he had the potential for an even better grid slot. Joan did a good job today, especially getting into Q2 which was hard to do. He qualified in 11th, so we feel confident with both riders for tomorrow. We’ll give our best.”

Alex Rins

“The crash was a shame because I was feeling very strong, and I had just set two ‘red’ (fastest) sector times before I went down, so I was hoping and aiming for the front row. Anyway, I feel great with the bike and I have a good rhythm, so that’s the most important thing. I’ll give my all to have a good home race tomorrow, I’m feeling confident and comfortable.”

Joan Mir

“I’m satisfied with today, the team and I worked really hard in FP4 to gain information for the race. I was really pleased to get through to Q2, that was a big positive for me. During qualifying I chose the wrong tyre option so I couldn’t get higher than 11th, but I’m pleased with this position anyway. Let’s see where I can finish tomorrow.”

Sylvain Guintoli

“The track was hotter this afternoon which meant the grip went down a bit. But in my second run I put together a run of consistent and quite quick laps, and I wasn’t too far from the top guys despite using race tyres. My feeling with the bike is good, but I don’t have any big targets for tomorrow, let’s see how it all unfolds. It will be tough out there, like always!”

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:


PRESS RELEASE: 15 June 2019 | Catalunya GP Qualifying

Cal Crutchlow will start from the third row of the grid at the Catalunya Grand Prix after battling hard during Saturday qualifying at the Montmelo circuit. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider had a topsy-turvy day, but feels he is in with a chance of challenging at the front of the field on Sunday after claiming ninth place on the grid.

The Briton demonstrated his pace and potential around the Barcelona layout as he stormed to third position in the morning FP3 session. That ensured he would line up in Q2, but his preparations were hampered by a late fall in FP4. Then, a mistake on his flying lap in Q2 cost him valuable time and meant he had to settle for ninth, although he remained the second fastest Honda in the field.

Cal Crutchlow – 9th

(1’40.151 – lap 7 of 7)

“I did a good a lap as possible at the time of day that I was able to do. I was more pleased with getting into Q2, than my performance in qualifying. I obviously made the top three in the morning session, but qualifying was not good enough to end on the third row. We have some problems with corner entry, I had exactly the same problem on my fast lap (in Q2) as happened to Marc (Marquez) and with a big mistake like that you’re always going to lose time and be down in ninth place. But I’ll try my best and I look forward to the race tomorrow as I think we have not too bad pace to be able to fight at the front.”

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:


PRESS RELEASE: 15 June 2019 | Catalunya GP Qualifying

After finishing Friday as the top-placed Honda in the field, Takaaki Nakagami endured disappointment in Saturday’s qualifying for the Catalunya Grand Prix. Having suffered with grip issues at the Montmelo circuit in Barcelona, the LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider was unable to secure a place in Q2 and will now start tomorrow’s race from 16th place on the grid.

Third fastest overall yesterday, the Japanese star was unable to replicate that form in FP3 and finished outside the top 10 in 12th position. He improved to finish eighth in FP4, but was then unable to claim one of the top two spots in a competitive Q1 session. Having finished sixth, Taka now has plenty to do in Sunday’s race as he starts from the sixth row of the grid.

Takaaki Nakagami – 16th

(1’40.6362 – lap 8 of 8)

“Today in FP3 the track condition was a little bit better than yesterday and so most of the riders improved their lap time compared to yesterday. We did as well, but compared to yesterday we struggled to find grip on both the front and the rear. We have still not decided which tyre to use in the race on either the front or rear. We’re still looking to find the best way for the set-up of the bike as well. Now we have time to think about what will work best for the race distance and forget qualifying as we know we struggled to find grip. Our starting position makes things much more difficult for the race, I need to overtake during the race which means I need a good feeling with the front of the bike.”

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

#CatalanGP Quali. Difficult qualifying for Pramac Racing. Jack and Pecco will start from row 5 tomorrow

The qualifying for the Catalan Grand Prix does not give high lights to Pramac Racing. After a crash in the fastest lap in FP3, Bagnaia pushes hard in Q1 but can not find the Chrono to qualify for Q2. Jack is forced to go through Q1 after an incisive FP3 (P11 but with the fourth ideal time) but crashes in the first run and doesn't manage in the second run to find the conditions to qualify for Q2.

Pecco will start from 13th position and Jack from 14th position on the starting grid tomorrow.

P13 – Pecco Bagnaia

Unfortunately, this weekend some strange things have happened. We were very fast with the tires used in the first run of the FP3. Then in the time attack I crashed in an incomprehensible way missing the qualification for the Q2. The race pace, however, is good. Tomorrow we can have a good race

P14 – Jack Miller

We didn't get a good result in qualifying but the race pace is very convincing. We have worked a lot with used tyres and the feeling is good. The soft tyre of the FP3 didn't work at its best and in Q1 I couldn't find the feeling. It was a very strange situation.

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM:


MotoGP 2019 - Round 7, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (ESP)

For the fifth time in 2019 MotoGP Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro was quick and competitive with his KTM RC16 and directly entered the Q2 session at a sunny and hot Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the seventh round of nineteen. The recently-turned 28 year old was 12th fastest at his home track. Johann Zarco will set-off from the sixth row of the grid.

MotoGP discovered more sunshine and high speed for the second meeting in succession with the Gran Premio de Catalunya - being held for the 28th year at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya a short distance from the Mediterranean city – following the visit to Italy two weeks earlier.

Red Bull KTM had to negotiate a slick and tricky course and search for grip at what was only their third visit to the popular venue. Pol Espargaro was rapid throughout Free Practice to secure a Q2 slot. Espargaro completed 7 laps in the short 12 minute session and managed his best on the last attempt but was just over half a second from the front row.

Johann Zarco showed promise with top ten speed on Friday but could not squeeze through the Q1 selection and will occupy 18th for the 24 lap race tomorrow.

In the Red Bull KTM Tech3 garage Miguel Oliveira was just three tenths of a second slower than Zarco and one tenth ahead of teammate Hafizh Syahrin. The Portuguese is also just one place in front of the Malaysian with both bikes in 20th and 21st respectively.

Pol Espargaro: “Good to be in Q2 again but honestly this is the toughest race for us and where we have always suffered a lot. On my fast lap I saw yellow flags in front of me from [Alex] Rins, I was on the back straight and coming-in so hot – three tenths faster to be P8 or P9 – I was almost crashing so I had to cancel my lap. I pushed for another one but could do nothing more than the lap I made. I think it will be important to finish the race tomorrow because it will be super-slow or with a lot of crashes. If the race is slow and we can risk a bit more than the others then maybe we can get something.”

Johann Zarco: “I could not improve this morning or make the step I wanted to make but I did it this afternoon and it was better than nothing. This is gives me the ‘glass half full rather than empty’ feeling. I’m learning and trying to develop what I can learn. I got some improvements this afternoon and was able to see a few things on the track. I tried to keep this feeling for next time and I’m really motivated.”

Miguel Oliveira: “We worked very hard to reduce the gap and we managed but the whole grid is very, very tight and we have only one second from 3rd to 20th position, which is where I am. All the four KTM’s are within four tenths, so it will be interesting to see tomorrow if we can keep a good pace for the race. We still have to analyse which tyre to use for tomorrow. But for now, we just relax and look forward to tomorrow.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “I felt really good in Qualifying today. We are very close to the rest and I hope we can find a good race pace tomorrow. Now we need to decide if we chose a soft or medium tyre for the race. At the moment, we are still at 50-50, so we will decide after the Warm Up tomorrow morning. The important thing is to enjoy it [the race] and not to do any mistakes or feel any pressure.”

More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:


Barcelona (Spain), 15th June 2019



Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi pushed to the limit in today‘s close qualifying session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and secured third and fifth place respectively on the grid for tomorrow's race. However, following a sanction imposed on Viñales by Race Direction after Q2, he will start the GP from P6, whilst Rossi moves up to P4.

3rd MAVERICK VIÑALES 1'39.710 / 8 LAPS

5th VALENTINO ROSSI 1'39.753 / 8 LAPS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi found extra speed on the second day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. They secured third and fifth place on the grid in today's Q2 for the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya.

Viñales got straight down to business during the 15-minute session, setting a 1‘40.007s on his first hot lap for provisional pole. He followed it up with another two fast first sectors but had to abandon his try in S3. As a result, he dropped to seventh place on returning to the pit box for a fresh set of tyres, but the Spaniard‘s challenge was far from over.

After a two-minute stop he headed back out for his second run. The timing was perfect: as most of the rider field was just heading into pit lane, he had a clear track in front of him. The home rider wasn‘t able to further improve his time on his next attempt, yet he remained determined to make his fans proud and set three red sectors on the following lap. It resulted in a 1‘39.710s, his best of the session, to briefly take first again. But, as other riders completed their fastest efforts, he ended in third place, 0.226s from first.

Rossi started his time attack a little after his team-mate, letting half of the other Q2 challengers exit pit lane ahead of him. He gradually got into the groove. His first hot lap put him in tenth place and his next moved him up to sixth, before the Doctor really got his head down. He improved his time but not his ranking and held sixth place as he headed to the pits with five and half minutes remaining.

Less than a minute later he was back out and didn‘t let any time go to waste. He soon set a 1‘39.753s for fifth place. Though he had one more lap left, he was unable to top his earlier time and ended the session remaining in fifth, 0.269s from first.

Following the Q2 session, Race Direction imposed a penalty of three grid positions on Viñales for being slow on the racing line and disturbing another rider. Viñales will start tomorrow's race from P6, whilst Rossi moves up to P4.



"We've made some steps today. Maverick and Valentino both went straight into Q2 and this allowed us to really focus on race pace during FP4. Both riders had good runs in all of today's sessions and the qualifying results are a positive starting point for tomorrow. It's a shame that Maverick was given a penalty, as this puts him in P6. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but we have to accept Race Direction‘s decision. We know that the level of competition is very high here and, with both our riders starting from the second row, we expect an action-packed Sunday. We'll have to push 100%. Both slippery track conditions and tyre degradation will play a big part in tomorrow's race, making the tyre choice crucial. Though the track conditions in the Warm Up will be different from the race, we'll try some final adjustments, so our riders can compete at the front."


"We improved the feeling quite a lot, so I'm happy about that. As I said, we were working in a different direction. Let's see tomorrow if all the hard work pays off. I'm ready to start and get in front. We've worked in a good way, but it has been difficult to set one good lap, because the bike is quite a bit different from what I was riding in Mugello. Let's see if tomorrow we can improve, but anyway it's very important to be consistent, to be in front, and battle with the front guys. I will try my best.

"I misunderstood the chequered flag. I didn't do it purposely or with malicious intent, so for me the penalty is too severe, but I have to accept it, because this is the way it is. For sure I'm not happy, but there's no excuse. We start from sixth, which isn't bad at all, it could have been worse. I'm not so far from the first row, just a few metres behind it. If I have a good launch at the start, I think we can be good. I will still try to be in front in the first corner."


"This is very good news for us, because it looks like Yamaha is fast and competitive here. Today I continued where I left off yesterday, with a good pace. I feel good with the bike. In the afternoon, with the higher temperatures, it's maybe a bit more difficult, but anyway I will start from the second row, which is good. Now I think the tyre choice, front and rear, will be very important, because everybody tried a lot of different combinations, so we need to think well and understand what the best option is for us."

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