Motor Sports

Bagnaia claims Catalunya MotoGP pole in record time

MONTMELÓ, Spain: World champion Francesco Bagnaia claimed pole for the Catalunya MotoGP with a new track record at Montmelo on Saturday.

The in-form Ducati rider posted a qualifying lap of 1min 38.639sec to lower Aleix Espargaro's benchmark set at the Barcelona circuit in practice 24 hours earlier.

Bagnaia is joined on the front row for Saturday's sprint and Sunday's race by Espargaro (Aprilia) and Miguel Oliveira on Aprilia's RNF satellite bike.

This was Bagnaia's sixth pole of the season - he leads the championship by 62 points from Jorge Martin (Ducati-Pramac), who qualified in fifth.

"This is one of most important pole positions of the year as Aprilia are so strong at this track," said Bagnaia, winner of five of the opening 10 races.

Down towards the back of the grid was Fabio Quartararo whose trying season continued with the 2021 world champion only qualifying 17th for this 11th round of the 20-race season.


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