2021 Silverstone MotoGP Qualifying Result: A Great Day For Pole

At the end of FP4 it looked like a straightforward plotline for qualifying in the premier class and Fabio Quartararo seemed to confirm that by posting the first 1:58 time of the weekend on his very first flying lap. However, his advantage was not as big as you’d expect, only three tenths or so heading into the second run of laps, when Pol Espargaro flashed at the top of the timing screens for a brief second. It was only brief because Jorge Martin went faster by almost nine tenths of a second, with an unreal advantage of well over a second in sector two, raising lots of eyebrows across pitlane when he crossed the finish line in pole. After an exceedingly long moment of confusion, it turned out that Martin had cut the corner at turn 8 and pole position went back to its rightful – if unlikely – owner, Pol Espargaro. The Spaniard takes his first pole position of the season after a tough start to his life with Honda, while Pecco Bagnaia missed out by two hundredths of a second.

Quartararo wasn’t even on the front row when the checkered flag came out but was promoted back to third once Martin’s time got cancelled and the Pramac rider will start fourth. Marc Marquez’s enthusiastic approach to track limits left him with no lap time posted after his first run but the Spaniard eventually climbed onto the second row of the grid, ahead of compatriot Aleix Espargaro.

Jack Miller in seventh place was half a second off pole and ahead of an impressive showing from Valentino Rossi in eighth. Johann Zarco ruled the roost in Q1 on his way to 9th on the grid, while the most recent victor at Silverstone, Alex Rins, leads Suzuki teammate Joan Mir on the fourth row, where they will be joined by Brad Binder.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 44 Pol Espargaro Honda 1'58.889    
2 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'58.911 0.022 0.022
3 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'58.925 0.036 0.014
4 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 1'59.074 0.185 0.149
5 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'59.086 0.197 0.012
6 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'59.273 0.384 0.187
7 43 Jack Miller Ducati 1'59.368 0.479 0.095
8 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'59.531 0.642 0.163
9 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1'59.579 0.690 0.048
10 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'59.639 0.750 0.060
11 36 Joan Mir Suzuki 1'59.763 0.874 0.124
12 33 Brad Binder KTM 1'59.977 1.088 0.214
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1'59.288    
Q2 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'59.509 0.221 0.221
13 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'59.553 0.265 0.044
14 10 Luca Marini Ducati 1'59.764 0.476 0.211
15 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'59.881 0.593 0.117
16 9 Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'59.997 0.709 0.116
17 73 Alex Marquez Honda 2'00.117 0.829 0.120
18 27 Iker Lecuona KTM 2'00.131 0.843 0.014
19 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2'00.217 0.929 0.086
20 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 2'00.391 1.103 0.174
21 96 Jake Dixon Yamaha 2'00.869 1.581 0.478
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Is Oliviera fit? Surprised to see him down there. Glad to see Savadori off the track since he was embarrassingly off the pace. Aleix is looking good! Top speed of the Black steed is good here, right on the heels of the Honda. 

It's better Lorenzo recovers properly after the surgery for his busted ankle. Good on him for having a go, not embarrassing, i think he just tested his ankle and discovered it was a no go. Can't imagine he had any confidence in the fast changes, doubt he even went for a time.

" Teams must make every reasonable effort to provide a qualified
substitute rider to fulfil their entry obligations within 10 days of
withdrawal. "

It was more than 10 days, so Aprilia were obliged to field a substitute rider if LS was unfit.  Assuming they can get the rider passed through medical assesment (which seems pretty lax), it is much easier and cheaper for the team to get the contracted rider to show up, do a few laps in FP1 and withdraw.

Aprilia have enough on their plate preparing for the arrival of Mad Mav, so in my humble and completely uninformed opinion, this was just the easiest (read: cheapest!) solution.  It may of course also have been that LS was in a better than expected condition and could have continued.  All the best to him in his continued recovery and future prospects, he copped a bit of flack and has acquitted himself pretty well really.