Espargaro and Zarco only 0.6 of a second from Jerez Q2 Qualification

MotoGP 2019 - Round 4, Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto (ESP) Qualification
Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 MotoGP Spain 2019

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The first MotoGP round to hit European soil after visits to Qatar, Argentina and the United States saw the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto welcome Grand Prix for the 33rd year in a row and since the first time FIM world championship action took place at the compact, recently resurfaced and relatively flat layout in southern Spain in the late 1980s. Bright early summer conditions produced temperatures of more than 25 degrees through Free Practice on Friday and a slightly cooler climate - and therefore improved grip - greeted FP3, FP4 and the Qualification run today as the famous Jerez hillsides began to fill with fans and spectators.

Red Bull KTM were operating out of their full race structure for the first time this year and around the Jerez curves since the test in November at the end of 2018. Johann Zarco had benefitted from extra track time at a private two-day test in Le Mans prior to the weekend and Pol Espargaro was competing at a venue where he had previously sampled three podium finishes in all classes.

Zarco suffered two falls on Friday but was more competitive and closer to his teammate this afternoon. Espargaro set a lap almost a full second faster than his best in 2018 but was six tenths of a second away in Q1 from making the cut for Q2 (Zarco just several hundredths slower with a new chassis on the KTM RC16) as he wrestled an issue with tyre traction.

Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira – confirmed today as a Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider in 2020 – is in 22nd with Hazifh Syahrin 23rd.

Now back on a regular European schedule the 25-lap MotoGP race will begin at 14.00 CET after Moto3 (11.00) and Moto2 (12.20) have taken place.

Pol Espargaro: “We were fast this morning and only 0.4 from the fastest but we were 12th and that meant we couldn't go directly to Q2. In qualifying we had problems with grip and it was a bit of a lottery with what tyre to use. We were trying to work out what was going on because we can turn and accelerate better but then we suffered and could not improve. We have to accept where we are and although it will be a hard comeback tomorrow we will do all we can to be as far forward as possible.”

Johann Zarco: “It was my best qualification performance of the season so far, so this is a positive thing. We are a bit less than a second from Fabio and benefitted from something new this weekend. I was able to smile a bit more in the box this afternoon with the improvement we made. The track is difficult because everybody is so close but we have positive thoughts on what we have done. The new chassis gives me a bit better balance and with more possibilities on the bike; when I feel this way the lap-time comes because I can play more.”

Miguel Oliveira:
“It was a tricky day although we were able to be a lot faster than yesterday. In Qualifying we couldn’t match the best lap time from FP3, which was a bit disappointing. At the moment we struggle to find the best feeling on the bike and to go fast, so it was not the best of the weekends so far but we still have the race tomorrow.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike today. We tried to find a decent setup but in the end it has been a bit disappointing for everybody. To be honest, I was a bit confused as we tried many different things and in the end, it was difficult to break the 1’40s mark. We need to make a step forward and try tomorrow.”

Moto2 & Moto3

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder was 10th fastest in the Moto2 Q2 chrono and from what was a tight contest for the front row of the grid. The South African, a former GP winner at Jerez, was three tenths of second adrift of Jorge Navarro. Jorge Martin will attempt to fight back from 22nd place.

In Moto3 SKY Racing Team VR46’s Celestino Vietti will start from 3rd place on the grid for what is the Italian’s best qualification in just his seventh Grand Prix appearance. Teammate Dennis Foggia is in 5th.

Races: May 5, 2019 – Moto3 11.00 | Moto2 12.20 | MotoGP 14.00 CET

Results Qualifying MotoGP Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto 2019

1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA), Yamaha 1:36.880
2. Franco Morbidelli (ITA), Yamaha +0.082
3. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda +0.90
4. Andrea Dovizoso (ITA), Ducati +0.138
5. Maverick Viñales (ESP), Yamaha + 0.234
17. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM 1:37.798
18. Johann Zarco (FRA), Red Bull KTM 1:37.820
22. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 1:38.894
23. Hafizh Syarin (MYS), Red Bull KTM Tech3 1:40.042

Results Qualifying Moto2 Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto 2019

1. Jorge Navarro (ESP) Speed Up 1:41.182
2. Alex Marquez (ESP) Kalex +0.091
3. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Kalex +0.141
10. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.41.528
22. Jorge Martin (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.41.953

Results Qualifying Moto3 Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto 2019

1. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA) Honda 1:46.011
2. Tatsuzki Suzuki (JPN) Honda +0.004
3. Celestino Vietti (ITA) KTM +0.184
26. Can Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo 1:47.583

Press & PR Manager
Sebastian Kuhn
+43 676 599 0084

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Hazifh Syahrin KTM RC16 MotoGP Spain 2019
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Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 MotoGP Spain 2019
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Johann Zarco KTM RC16 MotoGP Spain 2019
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Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 MotoGP Spain 2019
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