The seventh round of the MotoGP™ World Championship season has begun to put motorcycle riders to the test. After a day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™ has started to distribute scores. The best of this first test, that of the qualifying session, was Fabio Quartararo.
His result has not been a great surprise to anyone, and it is because the most advanced student had already warned about it. Today, the Frenchman achieved the best time of the fourth free practice session, but he was also the second fastest rider in the combined of the first three. Fabio Quartararo has set a record, that of the fastest lap on the new layout -with the modifications in Turn 10- which the Motorcycle World Championship is using for the first time this weekend.
Fabio Quartararo’s pole position has been sealed thanks to his time of 1: 38.853. This is the fifth consecutive pole for the championship leader, the second on the Catalan track with the premier class. The Yamaha rider could become the best student again tomorrow, if he could keep the position of honour. If that situation arose, Quartararo would achieve his second consecutive victory in the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™.
Two Ducati occupy the front row of the grid, along with Quartararo. It’s Jack Miller and Johann Zarco. Miller, who was bordering on passing, has managed to climb his grades to outstanding. With a time very similar to that of Quartararo, the Ducati Lenovo Team rider went through Qualifying 1 to earn a chance in the final classification. Johann Zarco, on the other hand, went straight to the Q2 session thanks to his good pace. In the end, almost two tenths have separated him from Quartararo.
The second row will be led by Miguel Oliveira and his KTM, with Franco Morbidelli and Maverick Viñales at his side, in fifth and sixth positions respectively. All three have a large number of points at stake, as they are immersed in the fight for the first positions, a fierce struggle in which a bad result takes its toll. Viñales is also the best-ranked home rider, so he will surely want to show off in front of his crowd tomorrow.
Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia) has achieved seventh place with 1: 39.218. Half a tenth slower were Brad Binder (KTM), in eighth position, and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), in ninth. Joan Mir (Suzuki) and Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) were the last two participants to lap in one minute and thirty-nine seconds. Pol Espargaró (Honda) has signed the twelfth place after going in extremis in Qualifying 2, a privilege that he took from his teammate Marc Márquez, who will start thirteenth. His brother, Álex Márquez, will start from 20th tomorrow.
Remy Gardner, unstoppable in Moto2™
The leader of the Moto2 ™ World Championship has set an unbeatable time. Gardner has taken pole position from his teammate and direct rival for the title, Raúl Fernández, by almost two tenths. The Australian stopped the clock at 1:42.977, compared to 1:43.135 of Fernández. There are only eight points that separate them, and tomorrow they will have to show again who is the most regular in the race, not just during one flying lap. Still, Red Bull KTM Ajo has all the ingredients to succeed tomorrow with their two riders.
Bo Bendesneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) qualified in third position, followed by Augusto Fernández (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) in fourth and Fabio di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) in fifth. The latter was in a bit of a hurry today, and ended up saving the day in Q1, as did Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up), although with less luck in Q2, where he qualified twelfth.
Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) is the best positioned Catalan rider, specifically in sixth place. The other local rider, Albert Arenas, will leave tomorrow from twenty-first position. The third classified of the World Championship, Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46), will have to give his best if he wants to put pressure on Gardner and Fernández, who will start leading the classification.
Team double by Gresini in Moto3™
The Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3 showed off today at the Circuit. Its two riders, Gabriel Rodrigo and Jeremy Alcoba, were the fastest of the day, monopolizing the first positions. Rodrigo, who is coming off a win and Alcoba, who races at home, could put on a five-star show tomorrow. The reference time was 1:47.597 for Rodrigo, compared to 1:47.914 for Alcoba. The Argentinean completed a fantastic lap that comfortably gave him pole position, something that rarely happens in the Moto3™ class. Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3) completes the front row of the grid.
Stefano Nepa (BOE Owlride) qualified in fourth position and was the first rider to climb to one minute and forty-eight seconds. At his side, and with very similar times between them, Izan Guevara (Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team) and John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing). Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Jaume Masiá (Red Bull KTM Ajo) will start from the third row of the grid. The latter, who is in second place in the world championship, is not having the performance he would like. In fact, Masiá has gone through Q1 to qualify. Something that has also happened to the leader, Pedro Acosta. The Murcian has been forced to go through Q1, but has not been able to overcome it and will start 25th, his worst classification since his début.
Eric Granado takes the E-Pole
The MotoE™ World Championship today awarded Eric Granado (One Energy Racing). The Brazilian, who won the last race at Le Mans, is showing his upward pace. Today’s pole position confirms it. His time of 1:50.446 could not be beaten by any of his rivals.
Even so, the Catalan Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) has stayed close, in second position. Tomorrow he could win at home, although third-placed Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP) will put pressure on him.
The Circuit receives the Best Grand Prix Award
The Catalan track has been recognized by Dorna and IRTA with the Best Grand Prix Award, an award for the organization of the past Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP ™. The recognition has been delivered by Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna, and Hervé Poncharal, president of IRTA, to the director of the Circuit, Josep Lluís Santamaría.
“Thank you very much on behalf of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Last year was very special and we did our best to have the best season together with Dorna, IRTA and the rest of the circuits under those circumstances. This year, in addition, we are taking a big step forward with the presence of the public, today 10,021 attendees, which is great news”, declared the director of the Circuit, Josep Lluís Santamaría.
Tomorrow, the great finale with important changes in the schedules.
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will experience an intense day tomorrow with the races of all the categories present. Before, the participants will carry out the Warm Up sessions, starting at 9 AM. These will continue until 10 AM. Moto3 ™ will race at 11:20 AM, MotoGP ™ will race at 1:00 PM, Moto2 ™ at 2:30 PM and MotoE ™ at 4:00 PM
Special Transport Schedule
Bus: Sagalés offers a special service with which fans can departure from the centre of Barcelona and reach the East area of the Circuit (in front of the Viena restaurant), as well as the trip back. The buses depart from the bus station Estación de Autobuses del Norte in Barcelona (Carrer Ali Bei, 80), platform 27. More information at www.sagales.es
Train: Renfe offers additional seats in line R2 Cercanías de Catalunya (Castelldefels – Granollers Centre).
Another sustainable Grand Prix with KISS Barcelona 2021
The Circuit, through its Green Meeting Point platform, is promoting, for the ninth year in a row, the KISS Barcelona programme invoking the KISS (Keep It Shiny and Sustainable) programme by FIM Ride Green. This year, all efforts are focussed on the well-being of people, under the motto “2021, The Year of the People”. The aim is to make the return of the public to the Circuit, that will be opening its gates to thousands of people for the first time in a long time, as sustainable and responsible as possible.
Furthermore, the Circuit continues working on its 3C Management “Conscience, Commitment and Coherence”, with actions like the use of 100% renewable energy, the donation of food, the use of 0-km gastronomy products, the use of circular economy in waste management or the sustainable forest care in the surroundings of the Circuit.
Tickets at www.circuitcat.com
Tickets to enjoy the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™ are available at www.circuitcat.com. Fans are able to enjoy the thrill of the races live from 80 euros onwards. There are also discounts of up to 50% for Junior and Senior tickets.