Despite the modest temperatures, significant crowds gathered to watch the premier class duel for pole position and with all the Spaniards in contention, they ended up applauding a Frenchman. Fabio Quartararo topped his fourth session of the weekend with the first 1:29 laptime, this one coming with a shiny Tissot watch and bringing the pole position count for his rookie season to six.
Marc Marquez came within three hundredths of a second from challenging his young nemesis but the pain would've been somewhat sweetened by having just been handed the keys to yet another brand new BMW for his qualifying achievements this year. Although the world champion came closest to threatening pole, the one man who actually saw his name ahead of Quartararo was Jack Miller, the Pramac rider spending mere seconds at the front of the field before getting demoted to third and closing the front row of the grid.
Maverick Vinales was arguably the most consistently fast man in practice, together with Marquez and Quartararo but the Yamaha man did not manage to join the two on the front row and got demoted to fourth by only a tenth of a second. The Spaniard will be in familiar company, starting ahead of Franco Morbidelli and Andrea Dovizioso, the Ducati man steadily working his way into a second row start despite a modest showing in qualifying.
Joan Mir is making a habit of outshining teammate Alex Rins, the youngster showing the way to the elder on the third row, after Rins managed to escape the battles of Q1. Cal Crutchlow trails the Suzukis on row three, while Danilo Petrucci will look to support Ducati’s claim at the teams’ title from tenth place on the grid. The Italian will have to fend off Pol Espargaro, whose rodeo ride in Q1 earned him a well deserved Q2 spot and 11th on the grid – admirably on the hard rear tyre – and Valentino Rossi, whose practice heroics didn’t quite carry through to qualifying.
Johann Zarco will start his final audition for 2020 from fifth row, while Jorge Lorenzo starts his final race another row back. The one man missing from the action was Pecco Bagnaia, the Italian declared unfit after suffering a left wrist fracture in his unusual FP3 crash.