Alcañiz (Spain) (AFP) – Italian rider Francesco Bagnaia took pole in record style for the Aragon MotoGP in qualifying on Saturday ahead of his Ducati teammate Jack Miller.
The front row is completed by Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha’s championship leader.
Bagnaia claimed top spot with a new fastest lap at the Motorland circuit.
His pole clinching effort of 1min 46.322s bettered the previous fastest time of 1:46.635 set by Marc Marquez in 2015.
Six-time world champion Marquez placed fourth in qualifying to make up an all-Spanish second row with Jorge Martin and Aleix Espargaro.
This was Bagnaia’s second pole of the season and Ducati’s 50th in motorcycling’s premier category. The 24-year-old Italian will be hoping it translates into his debut MotoGP victory on Sunday.
He is lying fourth in the rider’s championship, 70 points shy of Quartararo who is seeking his sixth win of the season at a track which has not been kind to him in the past.
“I’m happy,” said Bagnaia who stole the qualifying show with his second flying lap.
“We’ve managed to beat the track record which has stood for six years.”
Quartararo commented: “I felt good on the bike but it was too difficult to take the pole. We’ll see tomorrow but the aim is to be on the podium.”
The 22-year-old, who is aiming to become France’s first ever MotoGP champion, leads the standings by 65 points from defending champion Joan Mir who starts on the third row.