With the business end of the weekend quickly approaching, the margins got even smaller between the main contenders for qualifying. Fabio Quartararo and Marc Marquez seemed to have the most fun throughout practice, the Frenchman setting a new lap record in FP3 and the Spaniard showing a fierce pace in FP4 and they continued the socially distanced exchange in Q2. Quartararo was in provisional pole after the first run and Marquez took over on the second run, with Maverick Vinales throwing a spanner in the works for the final couple of minutes, but in the end it was the Petronas rider who repeated history by taking pole position in Jerez with a new lap record in his pocket.
With Vinales and Marquez completing a front row of favourites for the race, Pecco Bagnaia surprised his rivals by taking fourth on the grid, ahead of Jack Miller, whose red hot pole-chasing lap ended in a late crash at turn 11. Cal Crutchlow closes row two, while Pol Espargaro successfully escaped Q1 and put a KTM on the third row of the grid. Andrea Dovizioso got eighth spot and slid out at turn two while trying to improve that. Alex Rins followed his example at turn 11 and his qualifying position on the third row looks in doubt as the Spaniard was gingerly holding his arm while stepping into the ambulance.
Franco Morbidelli and compatriot Valentino Rossi open row five ahead of Joan Mir, whose practice heroics did not translate into qualifying. Rookie Brad Binder missed out on Q2 by a tenth of a second but starts Sunday’s race from a dignified 13th position.