Under the cloudless sky of Aragon, Yamaha were preparing for a celebration on Saturday afternoon but the question was which of their riders would get the most praise. Fabio Quartararo made his case first, taking control of the session early in Q2, while Maverick Vinales found a few more tenths on his second outing, but Quartararo had something up his sleeve and robbed his future teammate at the checkered flag. Despite his rather significant incident in FP3 and having to limp his way on and off the bike, the Frenchman secured his tenth pole position in the premier class by four hundredths of a second from Vinales. Cal Crutchlow carried the torch for Honda and got his first front row start of the season after a difficult couple of months.
Despite being particularly fast in the morning session, Franco Morbidelli eventually got demoted to the second row of the grid, together with Jack Miller. The Pramac rider snuck through Q1 to climb onto row two, three tenths off pole and two tenths ahead of the Suzuki of Joan Mir. Takaaki Nakagami made some late progress to open row three, where he will be joined by Danilo Petrucci, the winner of the Ducati kerfuffle in Q1. Aleix Espargaro qualifies ninth but faces a trip to the stewards after a slight collision with brother Pol in the closing stages of Q2. Compatriots Alex Rins, Alex Marquez and Pol Espargaro line up on row four, one second slower that Quartararo’s pole time but it is the rookie’s best qualifying position yet.
Andrea Dovizioso’s challenge ended in Q1, after inadvertently giving a tow to Petrucci, which ultimately proved costly as it helped his teammate progress to Q2 but left the title contender down in 13th on the grid, alongside Brad Binder and Iker Lecuona.