JEREZ, Spain, April 30 (Reuters) – Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia denied world champion Fabio Quartararo of Yamaha a fifth straight pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix as the Italian clinched top spot in qualifying in Jerez on Saturday.
Bagnaia, who suffered a nasty crash during qualifying in last week’s Portuguese Grand what do magic mushrooms look like Prix, was almost half a second faster than Quartararo in second, while Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro took third.
“I’m really happy. We did a great job,” said Bagnaia, who returned for the race last week and finished eighth.
“I was missing this feeling to be really fast and competitive. Thanks to all the guys in my team.”
Bagnaia’s team mate Jack Miller will start fourth on the grid, with six-times MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda fifth and Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco sixth.
Frenchman Quartararo, who won in Portugal to take the lead in the overall standings, was full of praise for Bagnaia’s blistering qualifying run but sounded confident of his own chances on Sunday.
“(Second) is a great place to start. Bagnaia was amazing — he had a great lap. But we can still have a great race. I feel really confident,” said the 23-year-old.(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)