2021 Valencia MotoGP Qualifying Result: As Easy As 1-2-3

With Ducati strong on Friday, Quartararo finding speed in FP4 and less than a second covering the entire grid in morning practice, the premier class was set for another serious battle for pole position. Quite predictably, red ended up being the theme of Q2, three Bologna bullets trading top spot throughout the session. Jack Miller led the way early on, Pecco Bagnaia denied him with three minutes remaining and then Jorge Martin timed a hot lap to perfection in between crashes from his factory colleagues to snatch pole with the first 1'29 time of the weekend. Bagnaia’s late tumble at turn 2 left him without an opportunity to respond to Martin’s speed and saw him settle for second, while Miller fell at turn 11 on his final flying lap but still kept third.

Behind the Ducati front row lockout, Joan Mir claimed fourth while sideways at turn 13 and Suzukis sandwich the other Ducati of Johann Zarco on the second row, with Alex Rins acing Q1 to grab sixth place. Brad Binder also escaped the first qualifying session to save something out of a challenging weekend for KTM and will start the final race of the season from 7th position. Fabio Quartararo was not a threat for pole at any point and the best he could do was 8th, six tenths off the lead and slightly faster than Takaaki Nakagami.

Valentino Rossi’s final qualifying session places him 10th on the grid and sharing fourth row with apprentice Franco Morbidelli and long-time rival Aleix Espargaro. A notable mention goes to Andrea Dovizioso, the returning Italian missing out on Q2 for only seven hundredths of a second, while at the other end of the Q1 spectrum, Miguel Oliveira was last in the session and will probably start last, unless Pol Espargaro’s medical checks allow him to rejoin the action on Sunday. The Spaniard missed out on qualifying after a big tumble in FP3 required a trip to the hospital, but Honda confirmed that their rider escaped serious injury.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 1'29.936    
2 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'30.000 0.064 0.064
3 43 Jack Miller Ducati 1'30.325 0.389 0.325
4 36 Joan Mir Suzuki 1'30.395 0.459 0.070
5 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1'30.418 0.482 0.023
6 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'30.475 0.539 0.057
7 33 Brad Binder KTM 1'30.509 0.573 0.034
8 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'30.620 0.684 0.111
9 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'30.644 0.708 0.024
10 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'30.746 0.810 0.102
11 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'30.781 0.845 0.035
12 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'31.024 1.088 0.243
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'30.673    
Q2 33 Brad Binder KTM 1'30.788 0.115 0.115
13 4 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 1'30.859 0.186 0.071
14 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia 1'30.991 0.318 0.132
15 27 Iker Lecuona KTM 1'30.994 0.321 0.003
16 9 Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'31.045 0.372 0.051
17 10 Luca Marini Ducati 1'31.073 0.400 0.028
18 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'31.185 0.512 0.112
19 73 Alex Marquez Honda 1'31.251 0.578 0.066
20 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'31.319 0.646 0.068
  44 Pol Espargaro Honda      
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Brian, looks like you called the Rookie of the Yr right. Martin is top notch. Basti looks to be bested and by more than 4 points. Unless....?


Sad for Pol, he was looking GREAT before that tough fall. So many crashes this wknd! 

It can be difficult to generate heat into tires for the less stop and go bikes. The Hondas still offer little stability nor warning before the front goes away on you. Better, but ouch. The 2021 Ducati is fantastic! 

How things change.

Watched all the Vale hoopla. It is touching! Quite sweet. At times he was showing a bit of tears beginning to well up if you watched closely. He and Uccio sure were particularly passionate about seeing the Honda 500 he won on. He obviously wants it very badly for his bathroom. Honda on the other hand are not so inclined to honor someone that openly snubbed them. 

Remembering a couple standout moments. Beating a clearly faster Stoner cleanly at Laguna Seca, including a brief Dakar Rally line down the Corkscrew. The first win ever on the Yamaha, bringing to fruition the greatest Winter transformation of a bike we may have EVER witnessed. 

Viva Furusawa and Burgess too while we are at it. Remember how crap the 2003 Yamaha was?! Biaggi was SO looking forward to being on the Honda and besting Vale in Blue. 

It is striking that to string together highlight video for Valentino you begin to realize how MUCH of it there is. How many beautiful strokes of mad genius did he give us on track on Sundays?!


They line up on Sunday. LOLOL

Hoping Pol is fine. Now he gets to develop a brand new bike without MM...unless Marc makes a quick recovery. I'm tapping Pol for big things next year. Big, big things.

I have to say I had a few tears watching the footage and thinking back on Vale's career. Having Casey around the past couple weekends has been magnificent. He has been so counterintuitive about so many subjects and makes perfect sense - if one were at his level of genius. Tomorrow will be special.

Cheers, Shrink! It's been an amazing year and next year...I can't even imagine. And I can't hardly wait.