MotoGP: Morbidelli claims pole in Valencia as Championship hopefuls stumble


The battle for the MotoGP world championship could be a midfield contest in Sunday’s Valencian Grand Prix.

Franco Morbidelli took pole with a 1:30.191 in a dramatic ending to the qualifying session.


Binder quick, but not quick enough

With three minutes to go in the session South Africa’s Brad Binder was sitting in pole position with MotoGP title contender Fabio Quartararo in second but hard-charging Yamaha’s and Ducati’s pushed them down the field in a frantic finish.

Joan Mir and Quartararo didn’t make the most of Alex Rins’ failure to make it into the final qualifying ending up 11th and 12th on the grid but the three men being bunched together will make the championship battle very interesting.

Binder will have an advantage over fellow rookie Alex Marquez, who came off his bike with a spectacular high-side landing on his tailbone. Marquez will start from 20th while Binder is on the third row of the grid. Binder topped Q1 but used up his soft rear tyres before track conditions were ideal.

A storming finish to the session from Jack Miller, put the Australian Ducati rider on the front row of the grid while LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami completes the front row.

Johann Zarco, Pol Espargaro and Maverick Viñales make up the second two with each of them having briefly gone fastest in qualifying.

MotoGP qualifying – Valencian Grand Prix

1Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)
2Jack MillerAUSPramac Ducati (GP20)
3Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)
4Johann ZarcoFRAReale Avintia Ducati (GP19)
5Pol EspargaroSPARed Bull KTM Factory (RC16)
6Maverick ViñalesSPAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)
7Aleix EspargaroITAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)
8Francesco BagnaiaITAPramac Ducati (GP20)
9Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory (RC16)
10Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM Tech3 (RC16)
11Fabio QuartararoFRAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)
12Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)
13Cal CrutchlowGBRLCR Honda (RC213V)
14Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)
15Danilo PetrucciITADucati Team (GP20)
16Valentino RossiITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)
17Andrea DoviziosoITADucati Team (GP20)
18Stefan BradlGERRepsol Honda (RC213V)
19Tito RabatSPAReale Avintia Ducati (GP19)
20Alex MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)
21Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)

* Rookie.
Official Valencia MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Marc Marquez SPA Honda1m 31.116s (2019)
Fastest race lap:
Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha1m 29.401s (2016) Protection Status


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