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Spanish MotoGP Qualifying Results | Espargaro holds off Miller for pole at stormy Jerez

Aleix Espargaro timed his final lap to perfection to snatch pole position for the 2023 Spanish MotoGP as stormy conditions threw a curve ball into Q2 proceedings at Jerez.

The Aprilia Racing rider came into the Q2 session having set the fastest lap time of the weekend thus far in Friday Practice, but having already suffered a fall at Turn 12 in the immediate preceding FP3 session, came up against inclement weather conditions at Jerez too.

Indeed, with scorching conditions across the area all weekend, temperatures reached breaking point just as Q1 was ending and Q2 began when the heavens opened and light rain began to fall.


While still warm enough for slick tyres, with rain stopping mid-way through Q2, the session would evolve in the final stages, allowing those coming across the line last the advantage of the best conditions.

And so it would prove, with Espargaro powering round to set a 1m 37.216secs lap - around a second off the lap record and slower than riders in the preceding Q1 session, but good enough for his fifth career MotoGP pole position.

Always impressive in sketchy weather conditions, Jack Miller made himself the benchmark for much of the session as he wound up his pace, the Australian leading a strong KTM effort that also has Brad Binder up in fourth place and wild-card Dani Pedrosa in sixth.

Alongside Espargaro and Miller, Jorge Martin completed the front row as the best of a muted Ducati contingent, despite he too having come down heavily in FP3 earlier in the morning.

Having survived a high quality Q1 session to make it through to Q2, Binder equalled his best-ever starting position with fourth place, with championship contender Pecco Bagnaia - having also come via Q1 - saving a solid fifth on the grid, putting him well ahead of series leader Marco Bezzecchi, the Italian once again falling just short of making it into Q2 as he starts 13th.

Following his shock run to third overall on the Friday timesheets, Dani Pedrosa got remarkably close to causing another upset as the final rider to cross the line, though the now-retired wild-card was still good enough to secure a spot on the second row.

Though his preferred rain didn't keep falling as the session continued, Miguel Oliveira hauled the RNF Aprilia into a fine seventh place, ahead of Johann Zarco and Luca Marini.

Unable to match his team-mate's pace as he had on Friday, Maverick Vinales is left on the back foot in tenth, while Takaaki Nakagami was also left flagging in the change of conditions in 11th.

Having snatched pole position in turbulent weather conditions in Argentina, Alex Marquez attempted to do the same as he pounded round on the Gresini Ducati. However, despite regularly enjoying stints at the head of the timesheets as conditions improved, a strategic blunder to remain on track rather than pit for new rubber would see him plummet to 12th.


In addition to Bezzecchi, there was more Q1 misery for Fabio Quartararo. The Frenchman, who has started no lower than second in each of his four appearances on a MotoGP bike at Jerez, unable to break into Q2 en route to 16th as he was out-qualified by his team-mate Franco Morbidelli, who starts 14th.

Elsewhere, COTA winner Alex Rins returned to earth with a bump as he could only manage 18th on the grid for the two races.

CLICK HERE for full Practice, Qualifying and RACE Results from the 2023 Spanish MotoGP

2023 Spanish MotoGP Qualifying Results | Jerez

2023 Spanish MotoGP | Jerez, Spain | Qualifying Results | Round 4 of 20
1Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 37.216
2Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 37.437
3Jorge MartinESPPrima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 37.458
4Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 37.532
5Pecco BagnaiaITADucati Leonovo TeamDucati GP231m 37.557
6Dani PedrosaESPRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 37.583
7Miguel OliveiraPORCryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 37.596
8Johann ZarcoFRAPrima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 37.616
9Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 37.666
10Maverick VinalesESPAprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 37.765
11Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda RC213V1m 37.876
12Alex MarquezESPGresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 37.920
13Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 36.578
14Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 36.793
15Fabio di GiannantonioITAGresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 36.967
16Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 37.072
17Raul FernandezESPCryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 37.164
18Alex RinsESPLCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V1m 37.256
19Stefan BradlGERTeam HRCHonda RC213V1m 37.297
20Joan MirESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 37.346
21Adrian FernandezESPGasGas Factory Tech 3KTM RC161m 37.753
22Jonas FolgerGERGasGas Factory Tech 3KTM RC161m 38.492
23Iker LecuonaESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 38.582
WEnea BastianiniITADucati Leonovo TeamDucati GP23

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