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Espargaro breaks lap record twice to claim Catalunya MotoGP pole

04 June 2022 - 20:21 By Reuters
Aleix Espargaro of Spain and Aprilia Racing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 04, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain.
Aleix Espargaro of Spain and Aprilia Racing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 04, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain.
Image: Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro broke the lap record twice in hot conditions to claim his second pole of the season at the Catalunya Grand Prix in Barcelona on Saturday.

At his home race, Espargaro had set the pace in practice and the Spaniard carried his form into the second qualifying session where he finished top with a time of 1:38.742 seconds, pipping Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia to top spot.

"I have no idea (how I did it). It was the most difficult lap of the season so far. The conditions were super, super tricky," Espargaro said in a pit lane interview.

"It was all or nothing. I did an absolutely crazy lap, sliding everywhere. I actually didn't really enjoy the lap. I was on the limit every single corner."

Yamaha's world championship leader Fabio Quartararo, who leads Espargaro by eight points, set the third-fastest time to seal a spot on the front row.

"Today the goal was to get on the first two rows and we got the front row, I'm happy," said Quartararo, who had struggled with tyre grip on Friday.

Johann Zarco, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Jorge Martin gave Ducati bikes a second row lockout.

Enea Bastianini, who has won three races this season to sit third in the standings, did not advance to the second qualifying session and the Gresini Racing rider will start 14th on the grid for Sunday's race.

SA's Brad Binder qualified 15th. His brother Darryn Binder qualified 23rd.


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