Aleix Espargaro scorches to pole in record time in Catalonia

4. Aleix Espargaro takes poll in Catalonia MotoGP
Aprilia Spanish rider Aleix Espargaro waves after taking the pole position during the MotoGP qualifying session of the Moto Grand Prix de Catalunya at the Circuit de Catalunya on June 4, 2022 in Montmelo on the outskirts of Barcelona. (Photo: AFP)
MONTMELÓ, Spain — Aleix Espargaro rode his Aprilia into pole position for the Catalonia MotoGP after topping the times with a new track record in Saturday's qualifying for the ninth round of the world championship.اضافة اعلان

The Spaniard will be joined on the front row on Sunday by Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia, who won last week in Italy, and the Yamaha of world champion Fabio Quartararo.

Espargaro lies eight points adrift of Quartararo in the standings and will have high hopes of lifting his local race after emerging fastest in second, third and fourth practice.

In the third session he blitzed to a new lap record of 1min 38.771 at the circuit outside Barcelona in scorching conditions with track temperature hitting 55 degrees Celsius.

And then he promptly broke his own mark shortly after in qualifying with a time of 01:38.742, to deny Bagnaia by 0.031sec.

"I did a totally crazy lap, slipping around everywhere and in truth I didn't really appreciate this lap, I was on the limit on each bend," said the pole-sitter.

Ducati’s dominate the second row with Prima Primac's Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin either side of Gresini Racing's Fabio di Giannantonio.

Starting towards the rear of the grid after qualifying 21st is Stefan Bradl called up to replace Honda's Marc Marquez.

The six-time world champion underwent surgery on his right arm in the United States with doctors declaring on Friday the operation was a success.

Marquez will remain in America for a few days before returning to Spain to continue his recovery. He is expected to miss the rest of the 2022 season.

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