MotoGP qualifying: Sixth Zarco after crash – Silverstone pole for Espargaro

(Motorsport-Total.com) – Johan Sarko secured his second pole position of the season in qualifying for the British Grand Prix in MotoGP. With a new course record of 1:57.767 minutes, the Pramac-Ducati driver narrowly beat Maverick Vinales (Aprilia/+0.098 seconds) and Jack Miller (Ducati/+0.164).

After Portimao, Johan Sarko is on pole for the second time this season

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However, after the fourth free practice, all eyes were on Aleix Espargaro, whose fitness was in question after a high in 12th. Although he was examined by track doctors and declared healthy, he may still be feeling the after effects.

In the first run, the Aprilia driver again focused on feeling the track and assessing his strength. In only the second attempt the FT3 launched a real-time attack at the fastest time, setting a record time of 1:57.966 minutes on British tarmac.

However, this did not last long as the competition continued. More drivers broke the 1:58 mark, so Espargaro dropped back to sixth. He missed Sarko’s pole time by almost two-tenths of a second.

Top 3 voices at Silverstone

“I’m very happy,” says the pole setter. “I had a lot of confidence on the hard rear tire in FT4. In qualifying I got used to the soft tire on the first lap. 1:58.4 was very easy for me. The second tire was a bit faster.

“I’m glad I did it. The first lap with a fresh tire is always the best chance. I had a free track and was able to do it,” Sarko explained of his record lap at the Silverstone circuit.

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With second place on the grid, Vinales achieved his best qualifying result with an Aprilia. “The most positive thing is to see our labor reap the benefits,” he says happily. “We worked very hard in the first half of the season. Yesterday I felt much better than before the summer break. The bike suits me better now.”


MotoGP: British Grand Prix (Silverstone) 2022

Third-place finisher Miller re-admits: “The front wheel almost slipped a couple of times and I managed to catch the bike with my elbow a couple of times. The lap times are really impressive.”

The Ducati rider is optimistic about tomorrow: “It was a good start this weekend. We have a good pace, Jargo maybe a little more. Tomorrow we want to continue like this and try to chase him at the front.”

Quartararo and Bagnaia in row two

World champion Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) finished fourth on the front row, just seven thousandths behind Miller. As a reminder, the Frenchman had to complete a long lap penalty on Sunday after beating Espargaro in the final race before the summer break.

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) finished fifth, just ahead of Espargaro. MotoGP rookie Marco Bessecchi (VR46-Ducati), who then reached Q1, finished a strong seventh, followed by Ene Bastianini (Grazzini-Ducati) who also struggled through Q1 earlier.

Jorge Martin (Pramac-Ducati) qualified ninth and finished third. Luca Marini (VR46-Ducati) and the Suzukis of Alex Rins and Joan Mir are on the fourth row.

No KTM driver made it into Q2. Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder missed third and fourth places in the first part of qualifying. They should start racing tomorrow on the 13th and 14th.

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The fifth row was completed by Fabio Di Giannantonio (Grezzini-Ducati) in fifteenth place. Behind them are Remy Gardner (Tech-3-KTM) and Honda riders Alex Marquez, Stefan Bradl and Pol Espargaro. Brand-mate Takaki Nakagami follows Franco Morbitelli (Yamaha) in 21st.

Raul Fernandez (Tech-3-KTM) and two RNF-Yamaha riders Darin Binder and Andrea Dovizioso close the grid at Silverstone in 22nd to 24th place.

Update 5:45 pm: Brad received a three-place grid penalty after he was slow on the top line in Q1 and bothered another driver. The German falls back from P19 to P21.

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