2020 MotoGP Round 12 – Aragon II
Qualifying Times / Report / Quotes
MotoGP Qualifying Report
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) kept his fine form rolling on Saturday at the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel, taking a maiden MotoGP pole position and becoming the first Japanese rider on pole in the premier class since Makoto Tamada at the 2004 Valencia GP.
Nakagami also makes it three maiden polesitters this year, a first in a single MotoGP season since 2013, and ends Honda’s longest premier class run without a pole since they returned to the class in 1982. It was close in the end though, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) just 0.063 off as the Italian starts second; the only other man in the 1:46s. Aragon GP winner Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) took an ominous third place to start the Teruel GP a good few places higher up the grid than last weekend, locking out the front row.
In Q1, however, all eyes were on Ducati. With every Borgo Panigale machine set to fight it out in the session, there was plenty at stake… and it started well enough for Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) as he held onto the provisional fastest lap after the first runs. Then though, a stunner came in from Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) as the Spaniard pulled clear at the top… and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) looked set to move through too. But then, a last lap dash from Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) ensured there was going to be one Ducati in the fight for the top 12 – with the Frenchman taking second right at the flag and moving through along with Pol Espargaro. That left Aleix Espargaro set to line up 13th, Miller 14th and Championship contender Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in a difficult P17 for race day.
The action was back underway soon enough for Q2, and it was a familiar name at the top after the first runs as Nakagami came straight out the blocks with a 1:47.072. It was also a familiar name in second, with Morbidelli just half a tenth off once again. Zarco impressed as the Q1 graduate slotted into third early on before the calm before the storm returned to pitlane, first runs done.
With just five minutes left on the clock, the field filed back out. Mir was 4.5 seconds off after failing to set a competitive lap time on his opening run, Aragon GP podium finisher Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was P11 and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) seventh, with a lot at stake in the final few minutes. With two minutes to go though, everyone was still setting grey sector times for the time being, with no one able to go quicker…
That left Mir with a one-lap shot at picking up places from P12. Pol Espargaro found time in Sector 2 and was on a personal best time, Viñales had also found time, but all eyes then returned to Nakagami. The Japanese rider was 0.239 up in Sector 3, and Honda have been mighty in Sector 4… would it be a 1:46? It would. Coming across the line, Nakagami set a phenomenal 1:46.882 to move the goalposts significantly, and ultimately secure his maiden MotoGP pole position.
Quartararo was threatening but had a second wobble coming onto the front straight to go P5, and just behind the Frenchman, Rins did improve even more to take third. On his last lap, Viñales also went quicker – but it wasn’t enough to threaten Nakagami or for the front row. Morbidelli, meanwhile, did threaten slightly – but it wasn’t quite enough as the Italian ended the session 0.063 off.
That guaranteed a maiden MotoGP pole position for the LCR Honda Idemitsu rider, and he’ll be one to watch on race day. Morbidelli takes his fourth front row start of the season in second, with Rins retaining P3 and looking a little threatening after his win last weekend from 10th on the grid…
Viñales is forced to settle for fourth, with Zarco keeping P5 despite a crash late on for the Frenchman, his earlier laptime proving stunner enough. Quartararo will start from sixth, just pipping LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow.
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) slots into eighth alongside the Brit, getting the better of Pol Espargaro by just 0.010 as the Q1 graduate starts ninth. Tenth place went to Alex Marquez as the rookie took his best qualifying result so far – better than last weekend, when he took another podium – with Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) right behind him, also a best ever for the rookie number 27.
So where’s Mir? After some late drama that looked like the Yellow Flag for Zarco’s crash would cancel a number of laps, including that of the Championship leader, it looked like he may have to settle for his first effort – over four seconds adrift. But the laptimes were reinstated after it was shown the Yellow Flag hadn’t been out for the likes of Mir, Oliveira, Crutchlow and Alex Marquez… but it didn’t prove a key aide. By just 0.021, the Championship leader is forced to settle for P12 – and will have plenty to do on race day. But then, we’ve seen some sensational comebacks this season already…
MotoGP Rider Quotes
Takaaki Nakagami – P1
“It’s just an amazing feeling. It was a pretty good last lap, well sector one was not the best because I saw I was one tenth slower, but as it was my last lap I tried my best to improve and make adjustments for sector two, three and four and we managed to go faster and faster. I didn’t know it was under 1’47 because there is no monitor on the track and I didn’t know if it was pole position or which position, but at the end I came to the pitlane and our crew had P1 and then I realised; ‘Ok, I have pole position’. It’s an amazing, amazing feeling and I want to say thanks to my team as they have worked well this weekend so far. But tomorrow is the most important thing and we have to concentrate and not lose our way. Now I have a pole position I’m really proud, but we need to keep concentrating and let’s see what we can do in tomorrow’s race.”
Franco Morbidelli – P2
“It was a great lap and I really had fun out there today, I had a good feeling on the bike. We worked well together, like we did last weekend, and we’re on a good path. I think tomorrow I need to be a bit sharper in the first laps and increase our pace, compared to the last race. FP4 was good to look at the tyres, as we need to make our choice for tomorrow and we need to find the right setting for the race. I do think things are a bit clearer now, especially with the data from last weekend as well. We used the soft tyre for the time attack and we were looking at the medium front for the race tomorrow. Still, we need to wait and see what happens, but being on the front row is good and hopefully it will be a great race.”
Alex Rins – P3
“I’m really happy to be back on the front row. It’s been a long time, and it feels good to be back. Since last weekend we’ve found a few extra things to make me quicker and feel even better with the bike, so this has increased my confidence. I think I have good race pace, but it will be tough because there are a lot of competitive riders here. What happened last weekend gives me a boost and motivation to get back on the podium, but we’ll have to see how the race plays out.”
Maverick Vinales – P4
“I‘m very happy, honestly. We got the maximum result possible for us today. What‘s positive is that our main rivals didn‘t do so well either. We did a good qualifying, so I‘m quite satisfied about that. For tomorrow I will try to push from the beginning. We know we prepared well for the race, so our expectations are quite high, and I think we can do a really good job tomorrow. In the race everything changes, so we will try to be smart, be smooth on the bike, and save the tyres for the last ten laps – this is crucial at this track. Tomorrow will also be a real chance for us to see if we can benefit from racing before the Moto2 race has taken place. It could be good for us in terms of grip, but then again it could be good for everyone. So, we will try to hit good lap times straight away. Sure, there are many fast riders, but we will try to manage and be fast.”
Johann Zarco – P5
“Very happy with today’s afternoon, as we have taken a big step forward. In the morning with low temperatures it was more difficult for me to have a good feeling with the bike, but in the afternoon everything was much better despite suffering a crash in Q2. I felt strong and very comfortable on my bike, which allowed me to go fast and finish in fifth position. Tomorrow we will try to have a good race and get the best possible result”
Fabio Quartararo – P6
“We have changed quite a few things this weekend, which was positive for our race pace but maybe not so great for qualifying. It didn’t feel as good as last weekend but, at the end of the day, the most important thing is the race pace. I think we have made a step forward, but there is still more to do. Qualifying wasn’t too bad, but now it’s time to focus on the race tomorrow. This is a circuit where I have always struggled, Valencia and Portimão should be better, but I will do my best to finish with as many points as possible, and hopefully ahead of our rivals. We need to look at our pace with the used tyre in Warm Up tomorrow, with the aim of increasing our potential in the race.”
Cal Crutchlow – P7
“Today was not as easy in qualifying as it was last week to get the front row, I pushed quite hard and nearly crashed three times on the fast lap, in all the fast corners; turn four, turn ten and the last corner. I tried my best and I think we did a good job this weekend, Taka did a really good lap and congratulations to him and the team for the pole position. Now we look forward to the race tomorrow, I think it’s going to be a really difficult race as the times are very close and a lot of riders are able to push fast this weekend.”
Miguel Oliveira – P8
“I’m happy about Qualifying, it’s a nice come back. We managed to go to Q2 several times, but finished just in P12, which means we couldn’t take the maximum out of the position. But now I feel like we gained a little bit of speed back, I feel competitive and tomorrow we can have a good race. I think we have a strong pace and we can manage the tires much better than last weekend, so we have a good opportunity to score decent points.”
Pol Espargaro – P9
“We did a good job today. The morning didn’t go so well and it was where we lost our options to go straight to Q2. I didn’t want to use the race tire so I had to do everything in Q1. I was happy because we turned things around in FP4 and the lap-time in Q1 would have put us on the front row. Overall, we not far away from first place so I’m happy.”
Alex Marquez – P10
“Last weekend we did a 48.1 and this weekend a 47.5 in the morning, so we have made a step. But honestly, I was aiming to be on the first three rows for the race, but we just missed out, MotoGP is like this this year where just half a tenth can make the difference. Our pace is looking good but starting 10th it will be difficult to be on the podium as everyone has made a step this weekend. A good start will be important because I think we are strong on used tyres and I think the top five is possible tomorrow. Let’s have a good race.”
Iker Lecuona – P11
“I’m really happy about today! It was the first time in Q2 for me and the lap time I did in FP3 was great. I have a very good pace for tomorrow’s race and I know it’s possible to stay in this position in order to fight for the top 10 again. I have to admit, I was not absolutely satisfied about my Qualifying because I think I could have been gone a bit faster. Anyway, I’m all focused for the race and hope I can stay inside the top 10.”
Joan Mir – P12
“I’m not happy with how qualifying went. In FP4 I worked with a medium front tyre and I felt really good with that, but then in Q2 we decided to switch back to the soft front and I couldn’t get the same feeling so I wasn’t able to push. I was a bit unlucky because I was doing a good lap just before the end, but I saw the yellow flag and I rolled off, and then the time ran out. In general my times weren’t too bad, but I’m not happy with the position. On the plus side, my feeling and pace in the other sessions was good so let’s see what’s possible.”
Aleix Espargaro – P13
“I’m usually not pleased with thirteenth place, but today is different. I was consistently fast, I have a good pace and in qualifying I also did an outstanding lap. It’s a pity about not going through to Q2 because, with this speed, I could have made a play for a spot on one of the front three rows. The starting position will force me to be very aggressive in the early laps, but if I’m able to stay with the leading group, I’ll be able to aim for a good race.”
Jack Miller – P14
“I was doing my lap but the second tyre didn’t work well, apart from that everything was good. I was able to do very good laps but I had no control during the second run in Q2. I’m sad but as always tomorrow I will do my best and we see.”
Brad Binder – P15
“It was a lot easier for me to put down consistent laps, which is good for the race tomorrow. I feel like I am lacking a little bit of straight-up one-lap pace and it was difficult today because I was missing a tenth of a second here and there and it is so tight out there at the moment. Any steps we can make for tomorrow will give us a small advantage going into the race. In general, I think we are much better prepared than we were last week.”
Stefan Bradl – P16
“We are much faster this weekend and even faster than yesterday, even if our final position looks further. The crash I had meant that I couldn’t use my favourite bike but my grid position and laps are better than last week, so I am pleased. It will be a very fast race tomorrow because everyone now has two weeks of data. We are starting ahead of some strong riders so I think it will be a good race.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P17
“Unfortunately, this GP is proving to be even more challenging than last week, where we had already encountered several difficulties. Our opponents are making a big difference, as in these days they have managed to improve a lot. Tomorrow we will start rather from the back, and unfortunately, our race pace is neither that strong. We will do our best to bring home as many points as possible”.
Pecco Bagnaia – P18
“From today I was expecting more. I liked the changed we made yesterday and I thought that with the new tires we would be able to do better. The only improvement I made was 4 tenths on the pace, but it is not enough to make a time attack. We are all very competitive, and now even if we are in trouble we will try to do our best.”
Danilo Petrucci – P19
“Today’s qualifying has been rather difficult, and we still haven’t been able to solve the problems that we had already last week here at MotorLand. We hope to find some solutions that will allow us to make some progress tomorrow in the warm-up, but as we are starting far from the back, we already know that we’ll have to expect an uphill race”.
Tito Rabat – P20
“A bit disappointed with today as after the good FP3 we did, I was hoping to improve in the afternoon. Tomorrow we hope to have a good race and continue to improve.”
Bradley Smith – P21
“On one hand, I’m pleased with the work we did in preparation for the race. Clearly, starting from that far back will not make life easy for me. We tried a lot of things and maybe that’s why we were unable to be incisive in qualifying. For tomorrow, we’ll analyse the data collected today and try to put together the best possible setup. I’ll also have a look at a few of Aleix’s laps, since he was rather fast, and I’ll use that to try and improve my riding style as well to make up a few tenths of a second.”
Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager
“It’s great to have Alex on the front row again, he did a really good job all day and he has good pace for tomorrow’s race. Unfortunately, Joan struggled with the front end during qualifying and he wasn’t able to push. He will start from 12th on the grid, which won’t be easy, but we’re hoping to put everything together to give him the best chance of fighting at the front tomorrow.”
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director
“Today we continued in line with the work we did yesterday. In order to give Maverick the best possible chance in the championship, we need to make sure that he has good grip on the maximum lean angle for the duration of tomorrow‘s race. We used both FP3 and FP4 to further tweak the findings from Friday, because Maverick wasn‘t fully satisfied after the morning outing. After FP4 he felt much better on the bike, and his first place in that session is a good sign for tomorrow‘s race. In Q2 we had really hoped for another front-row start like last week. It‘s a shame that he missed out by just 0.086s, but it‘s nothing to be dramatic about. Fourth place on the grid is still a good place to start the race from. If Maverick repeats his great start and opening lap from the Aragon GP, he will be right there fighting at the front. In the meantime, we will now finalise the set-up, which we can confirm in the warm up. If it all comes together as we intend, we can expect another thrilling race at the Aragon track tomorrow.”
MotoGP Qualifying Results
|13||Aleix ESPARGARO||APRILIA||Q1||(*) 0.301|
|14||Jack MILLER||DUCATI||Q1||(*) 0.323|
|15||Brad BINDER||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.407|
|16||Stefan BRADL||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.514|
|17||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||DUCATI||Q1||(*) 0.676|
|18||Francesco BAGNAIA||DUCATI||Q1||(*) 0.688|
|19||Danilo PETRUCCI||DUCATI||Q1||(*) 0.784|
|20||Tito RABAT||DUCATI||Q1||(*) 1.043|
|21||Bradley SMITH||APRILIA||Q1||(*) 1.331|
Moto2 Qualifying Report
Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) remains the man in form after an impressive Q2 at the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel, the Brit laying down the gauntlet of another new lap record for his 11th Moto2 pole position. Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) was the man closest on the chase as he takes second, two tenths down, with Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) completing the front row in a hotly-contested third place. Championship leader Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) starts sixth, with third overall Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) down in P11 for the Teruel GP…
Marini was the man in the spotlight in Q1 as the Italian struggled to break the top 20 in Free Practice, but he moved through in third behind Bo Bendsneyder (NTW RW Racing GP) and Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP), with Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) the fourth man through. Could Marini make a dent in the top 18 in Q2? It was time to reset and find out.
Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) was the early pacesetter but Lowes didn’t allow the rookie to spend long at the summit, taking four tenths off and sitting just a tenth off the lap record to set his competition an almighty challenge early on. Navarro then cut Lowes’ gap down to less than a tenth though. before Gardner and Ramirez slotted themselves onto the provisional front row.
Lowes wouldn’t be stopped, however. With eight minutes to go, the number 22 slammed in a new lap record to set the benchmark once again, with Navarro still pushing and taking P2 but still a couple of tenths off Lowes. Could he do it next time around? The Spaniard was getting closer but his pole position dreams ended at Turn 7 as he slipped out of contention, ultimately ensuring the battle remained a brief duel and making it a Lowes-Navarro 1-2 on the grid.
The fight for third was close and Gardner held off Fabio Di Giannantonio (Lightech Speed Up) by just 0.009, with the fight for fourth even closer yet. Ramirez was forced to settle for fifth, but the rookie was just 0.001 off Diggia as he continues his impressive run of MotorLand form. Championship leader Bastianini had a more solid qualifying than last weekend and locks out the second row, the Italian now likely focused on trying to stop Lowes from winning – or limiting the damage.
Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) keeps his impressive speed rolling to spearhead the third row, ahead of Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40) and Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) as the two Spaniards complete Row 3. Q1 graduate Bendsneyder picked up an impressive P10, his best Q2 result since the Dutchman qualified P5 in Qatar, with Marini forced to settle for P11 in the end but beating Aragon GP podium finisher Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) to it by less than a tenth.
At the end of the session, there was some drama for Martin too. He and Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) vented their frustration at each other after an incident in the closing moments of Q2, and title challenger Bezzecchi has to settle for P14, his first non-top 10 qualifying result of the season…
That’s a wrap from Saturday and Lowes reigns once again at MotorLand. Can anyone stop the man second in the Championship from taking his third win in a row? A victory would see Lowes take the title lead heading into the final three races, Bastianini is the only contender in the title race looking likely to challenge Lowes on Sunday afternoon…
“I’m really happy to get pole today after last weekend’s pole to win. A lot has changed in my life and riding since 2016, I’m different now, I’ve learned a lot and changed a lot, and this year I feel a lot more controlled and feel like I’m riding technically a little bit better which is helping me to be more consistent. There are many little things, but I’m feeling good, I’m on a bit of a wave at the moment with the results as they are but we have to stay focused. Obviously the race is the most important, we need to not get carried away because it’ll be a tough race as always. Just focus for 21 laps and see what we can do tomorrow.”
Moto2 Qualifying Results
|2||Jorge NAVARRO||SPEED UP||Q2||+0.216|
|4||Fabio DI GIANNANTONI ITA||SPEED UP||Q2||+0.424|
|17||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI ITA||KALEX||Q2||+0.959|
|18||Stefano MANZI||MV AGUSTA||Q2||+1.159|
|19||Somkiat CHANTRA||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.393|
|20||Hafizh SYAHRIN||SPEED UP||Q1||(*) 0.400|
|21||Nicolò BULEGA||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.500|
|22||Xavi VIERGE||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.546|
|23||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA ITA||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.595|
|24||Simone CORSI||MV AGUSTA||Q1||(*) 0.599|
|25||Tetsuta NAGASHIMA||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.685|
|26||Thomas LUTHI||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.955|
|27||Kasma DANIEL||KALEX||Q1||(*) 1.094|
|28||Xavi CARDELUS||SPEED UP||Q1||(*) 1.301|
|29||Andi Farid IZDIHAR||KALEX||Q1||(*) 1.957|
|30||Piotr BIESIEKIRSKI||NTS||Q1||(*) 2.465|
Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) has done it again! The Spaniard’s 1:57.199 in Q2 at the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel sees him take a fifth pole of the season, edging out Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) by 0.231. Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) bounced back from a more difficult Friday to complete the front row, as the riders third and fourth overall start the furthest forward of the title challengers on Sunday…
In Q1 it was Filip Salač (Rivacold Snipers Team) who topped the timesheets, and with an impressive advantage of nearly four tenths. The Czech rider was joined by Stefano Nepa (Solunion Aspar Team), Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) in moving through to Q2, and so the stage was set for the fight for pole.
It was – as ever – Fernandez who led the way early doors, the Spaniard the man on top heading into the classic final shootout. But, again as ever, that classic final shootout would shuffle a good few rows – just not at the top. Fernandez was the only man able to beat his own time, knocking a few tenths off and securing himself a fifth pole of 2020.
It looked like it would be with a substantial gap back to Vietti initially, but Arbolino struck late to take second and home in on Fernandez. Arbolino, who missed the Aragon GP due to mandatory self-isolation, has been quick since his return – and Vietti was also a top qualifier last weekend, despite his tougher Friday this time around.
Fourth goes to Rodrigo as the Argentinean impressed in Q2 despite having to move through Q1, setting his best lap earlier in the session and missing out on the front row by just 0.017. Championship leader Albert Arenas (Solunion Aspar Team) starts fifth in Teruel, with the second row completed by Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3). That’s the Japanese rider’s best qualifying of the year so far, and he was only 0.033 off Arenas.
Aragon GP winner Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) lines up to try and repeat the victory from seventh place, which is actually ten places less of a task than his impressive charge last weekend. Masia has Q1 graduate Toba and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) for company on Row 3.
Tenth place went the way of Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia), the man second in the Championship taking back-to-back top tens in qualifying for the first time since Styria and San Marino.
Salač, Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing), Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) complete the top 15 – with John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) down in P17 and looking for a comeback on race day. But remember, last weekend’s winner did it from that exact grid position… can McPhee get up there too?
“Incredible, my second pole here in Aragon. This track is special for me, one of my best tracks and I enjoy riding here. It’s incredible to get a second pole, I want to say thanks to my team and my family, yesterday afternoon they made a surprise for me and it was a +1 in my mentality and I want to say thanks!”
Moto3 Qualifying Results
|19||Niccolò ANTONELLI||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.715|
|20||Carlos TATAY||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.784|
|21||Alonso LOPEZ||HUSQVARNA||Q1||(*) 0.790|
|22||Yuki KUNII||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.844|
|23||Barry BALTUS||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.883|
|24||Davide PIZZOLI||KTM||Q1||(*) 1.370|
|25||Ryusei YAMANAKA||HONDA||Q1||(*) 1.401|
|26||Andrea MIGNO||KTM||Q1||(*) 1.450|
|27||Khairul Idham PAWI||HONDA||Q1||(*) 2.171|
|28||Sergio GARCIA||HONDA||Q1||(*) 2.234|
|29||Maximilian KOFLER||KTM||Q1||(*) 2.293|
|30||Jason DUPASQUIER||KTM||Q1||(*) 2.481|
MotoGP World Championship Standings
2020 MotoGP Calendar
|12||25 October||MotorLand Aragón|
|13||08 November||Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo|
|14||15 November||Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo|
|15||22 November||Autodromo Internacional do Algarve|
Aragon Schedule (AEST)