2020 Barcelona MotoGP Qualifying Result: Many Teammates, Many Enemies

After FP4 showed that the list of contenders for Sunday is once again quite significant, the only other question left to answer on Saturday was which of them will have the advantage of starting from pole. Barely a couple minutes into Q2, it seemed that Yamaha were best placed to answer that question, with Franco Morbidelli in provisional pole after the first run and his colleagues trying to hunt him down. Fabio Quartararo was the exception, the Frenchman not in the picture early on, as a mistake in turn 10 and a yellow flag left him last after the first run. Quartararo finally got a chance to show his speed in the final couple of minutes, when he shot into the lead, but Morbidelli found the antidote to his teammate’s speed once again and went on to secure a maiden pole position in the premier class be a solid two tenths of a second. Quartararo had to make do with second on the grid, alongside the man who freshly signed up to take his seat next year, Valentino Rossi – making it an all-Yamaha front row.

Maverick Vinales looked like he would have a say in the family affair for the front row too, but the Spaniard metaphorically stumbled before the finish line and dropped to fifth, behind the mighty holeshot of Jack Miller’s Ducati. The Pramac rider had a busy afternoon, sailing through Q1 and using his last fresh soft rear to climb into fourth. Together with Johann Zarco in sixth, the Ducatis sandwich Vinales on the second row.

Pol Espargaro opens row three, almost seven tenths slower than the poleman but faster than Joan Mir, who once again sets himself up for an obligatory comeback through the field. Danilo Petrucci will be happy to qualify at the back of the third row, with Brad Binder rounding out the top ten. The KTM man will be in familiar company on the fourth row, with Q1 escapee Takaaki Nakagami and colleague Miguel Oliveira, whose session was perturbed by an early tumble at turn 10.

Nakagami’s late adventures in Q1 left Alex Rins out of the battle for pole and the Spaniard will start 13th, ahead of Pecco Bagnaia, Aleix Espargaro, Cal Crutchlow and another disappointing Saturday for Andrea Dovizioso, who could not drag himself out of Q1 and will start 17th.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'38.798    
2 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'39.008 0.210 0.210
3 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'39.129 0.331 0.121
4 43 Jack Miller Ducati 1'39.225 0.427 0.096
5 12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'39.371 0.573 0.146
6 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1'39.378 0.580 0.007
7 44 Pol Espargaro KTM 1'39.495 0.697 0.117
8 36 Joan Mir Suzuki 1'39.628 0.830 0.133
9 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'39.641 0.843 0.013
10 33 Brad Binder KTM 1'39.659 0.861 0.018
11 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'39.713 0.915 0.054
12 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'40.188 1.390 0.475
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 43 Jack Miller Ducati 1'39.399    
Q2 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'39.547 0.148 0.148
13 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'39.751 0.352 0.204
14 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'39.777 0.378 0.026
15 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'39.973 0.574 0.196
16 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'39.988 0.589 0.015
17 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'40.109 0.710 0.121
18 73 Alex Marquez Honda 1'40.164 0.765 0.055
19 27 Iker Lecuona KTM 1'40.490 1.091 0.326
20 6 Stefan Bradl Honda 1'40.721 1.322 0.231
21 38 Bradley Smith Aprilia 1'40.838 1.439 0.117
22 53 Tito Rabat Ducati 1'41.013 1.614 0.175
Round Number: 
9
2020
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Comments

Stunning pole from the most laid-back rider on the grid. Very happy to see my two favorite riders (and soon to be teammates) on the front row. 

Literally. He has carried his strength despite adversity for a LONG time. Do you think he has just run out of heart after being let go? Have we just seen him drop off of this season?

I suspect so. He deserves praise and a hug.

I have to admit he looked pretty awful today. In addition to not being fast, being unemployed might make him even more reluctant to get near the limit.

Fun to see Frankie blitz the field however. And Vale on the front row.

Maybe Dovizioso needs to let loose. He looks like he is suffering from an overabundance of tension. It's palpable watching his press interviews. And they could even be pre-recorded because he says the same thing over and over. The irony is that the only thing standing in his way from that elusive world title the last three seasons was Marc Marquez, and now that Marquez is out of the picture, Dovizioso is unable to put all the pieces of the Ducati jigsaw together for a title challenge. Getting rid of the mystery of the future contract with Ducati Corse did not work. And yet, all of The Professor's analytical skills cannot figure out the new Michelin rear tire. Maybe he needs to lose his mind such as Viñales did in his post quali interview with Steve Day at Misano 2. Viñales threw everyone and everthing under the bus (allegedly according to Morrison on the most recent Paddock Pass Podcast) - bike, team and Yamaha. Day left the interview thinking that Viñales had completely lost it. Casa de locos stuff. But, Viñales promptly went out the following day, kept his head when passed by Bagnaia, put the pressure on in the latter stages of the race and took profit for the win. Sometimes a person just has to let off some steam before the kettle explodes. Or freakin blow up the kettle.

Dovizioso needs to destroy his motorhome or something. Nothing from the last three years is working. Do something different. Try the "win it or bin it" attitude. Going down the same path that has led to runner up the last three years does not look like a successful strategy in this year of uncertainty. Watching him suffer is almost too painful. Lose yourself, man...

I'm surprised that folks don't understand the DDD (DesmoDoviDilemma)!

The chap hasn't forgotten to ride. Its exactly how he calls it..He can't ride these tyres the way he's always ridden in the past. How hard can that be to digest? I can't imagine a more frustrating position to be in than Dovi is in now..Actually I can..Remy Gardner..but thats another sermon. 

Ok lookit..Think of your fave sunday twisty...the one you've been riding for yonks..think of that one corner you look forward to,the one you take at the right speed and gives you the hibbyjibbies when you get it right.. You love that corner because after months/years of experience you put together all the ingredients to get it right..corner speed..lean angle...vision through the corner..maybe knee on deck... Now Imagine having to ride that corner in the rain...on slicks...forever.. can it be done..absolutely..is it going to take a while before you start to enjoy that corner in the "new normal"? Dead right. 

Whatever success Dovi has found is due to his "type" of riding..rational..sensible..and rarely instinctive..These habits have been learnt over years of practice..Now he has to do something opposite to what he's done for years and change habits, one more so in particular- Braking... that is his strongest suit!!! ...When I sit in a meeting, I instinctively cross my right foot over the left...Ive tried doing it the other way for the heck of it and its Effin uncomfortable and "not me"! Im sure I could do it if i practiced enough but Undaunted unfortunately does not have oodles of time to adapt...and with the sort of treatment he's had meted out from Ducati why should he care.. but he does..he's focussed on walking away a winner..Pecco and Jack have zero experience developing the bike to what it is today.. and therefore no muscle memory.. just an open mind and no pressure that comes with being a factory rider...That might change soon..

Let's be frank..If Dovi adopted the win it/bin it attitude and he binned it more than "winned" it we'd be calling him Karel or Tito.. or Bradders.. 

And I swear if I hear one more time the comment " nobody wants to win this year" I will throw an almighty tantrum..Just F off will ya..They all want to and they are all capable and they are all trying hard.. ok..Rant over! Im going for a ride and thankfully it will  be dry when I approach "my" Marc Marquez corner!! Gas out folks!

Congratulations Yamaha, the M1 seems to go alright. Is the engine de-tuned? 500 revs less maximum or not??

These bikes are all fast! Ducati; Francesco Bagnaia 352.9 km/p in fp3, 351.7 in fp4. Dovi 351.7, Miller 350.6 in Q2. Also fast is Honda; A. Marquez (not The Marquez) 349.5 fp3, Bradl 346.1 in fp4. Yamaha 346.1 for Fabio Q in fp3, even "too tall" VR46 was quick. KTM both Brad & Pol 348.3 in fp3, Suzuki 345.0 for Joan Mir in Qualifying. Even Aprilia are fast Aleix Espargaro 346.1 kilometres per hour in fp3 & same again in fp4. That is mighty rapid!

Races are going to be fun to watch. What is the likelyhood of a new lap record come Sunday afternoon?