aA day after extending his contract with Honda until 2022, Takaaki Nakagami secured his career's maiden pole position for the Teruel GP at the Motorland Aragon circuit. The LCR Honda rider beat Franco Morbidelli of Petronas Yamaha SRT to the top spot by just 0.063s. Also making it to the front was Alex Rins of Suzuki. This is the first instance of a Japanese rider taking pole in the premier-class since Makoto Tamada in 2004. Meanwhile, Johann Ducati's Avintia was the only Ducati to make it Q2 at Aragon.
Nakagami showed some incredible pace right from the start and set a time of 1m48.139s at the start of Q2. The laptime was short lived with Maverick Vinales on the factory Yamaha setting a laptime of 1m47.908s. Rins managed to better that time on his Suzuki with 1m47.593s but Nakagami set the timesheet on fire with a time of 1m47.072s on a following run.
The LCR rider was followed by Fabio Quartarao on the Petronas Yamaha SRT, while Joan Mir of Suzuki had first flying lap cancelled, which relegated him to 12th in the opening runs. With the session coming to a conclusion, Nakagami managed to improve his time further setting a laptime of 1m46.882s. The rider though was closely challenged by Morbidelli who came dangerously close to breaking Nakagami's laptime but starts second tomorrow.
Rins made a run on his final lap and is expected to have a strong run tomorrow as well, having won the Aragon GP last week. After the initial burst, Vinales settled to take fourth and starts in the second row after a final effort in the closing stages. He will be joined by Zarco, who is the top Ducati rider in the race tomorrow after rest of the riders on the Italian bike struggled with pace. Zarco crash on the last corner as well, which prompted the yellow flags and lap cancellations.
Quartararo couldn't improve his time either and eventually settled for sixth, while Pol Espargaro takes seventh ahead of Tech 3 KTM's Miguel Oliveira. KTM's Pol Espargaro starts at P9 with Alex Marquez on the factory Honda taking the tenth spot. It was also the rookie rider's best qualifying of the season so far.
Also claiming his best qualifying for the year was Iker Lecuona on the Tech 3 KTM, who starts at P11 tomorrow, ahead of Joan Mir on the Suzuki, who had gis fastest time cancelled. Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia starts at P13, while Jack Miller dropped down to 14th after a promising pace in Q1. It was the case with other Ducati riders as well with Andrea Dovizioso in 17th place, his worst qualifying result of the season after Brad Binder of KTM and Stefan Bradl on the Honda managed to improve their times.
Francesco Bagnaia on the Pramac Ducati starts 18th, ahead of Danilo Petrucci on the factory Ducati, while the final spots are taken by Avintia's Tito Rabat and Bradley Smith on the Aprilia. Valentino Rossi misses out on the Teruel GP after testing positive for COVID-19.