2020 Brno MotoGP Qualifying Result: When Questionable Decisions Work Out

The heat dial was turned up to the max ahead of the premier class’ qualifying session given the modest gaps throughout practice and the result was a bigger surprise than expected. Fabio Quartararo started the session in his favourite position, at the top of the timesheets, and looked to comfortably continue his fine qualifying run - that is until compatriot Johann Zarco flew past by three tenths of a second. The Avintia rider finally got rewarded for the troublesome 18 months he endured with an excellent pole position in Brno and will headline the Saturday press conference for the first time in two years. Quartararo benefitted from a yellow flag infringement by Pol Espargaro and inherited second place from the Spaniard, making it a French one-two despite a late crash at run 13. Franco Morbidelli joins them on the front row of the grid, only eight thousandths of a second slower than his teammate.

Aleix Espargaro proved once again to be the expert in following the right people at the right time and a tow from Quartararo helped him score a place at the front of the second row. Maverick Vinales fought his Yamaha to climb into fifth on his first run but got his timing wrong and missed out on a second run before running out of fuel. Pol Espargaro dropped to sixth after the penalty for setting his best lap under a yellow flag prompted by Cal Crutchlow’s crash but just about kept the honours for being the top KTM, one place ahead of his teammate. Brad Binder snuck through Q1 and made the best of it to open the third row of the grid, ahead of Danilo Petrucci and Joan Mir.

Valentino Rossi finds himself in familiar company on row four, where he is joined by Q1 leader Alex Rins and the equally convalescent Cal Crutchlow. Miguel Oliveira and Jack Miller narrowly missed out on Q2 but the real losers of the first qualifying session were Takaaki Nakagami, whose Q2-worthy time got cancelled for exceeding track limits and dropped him to 17th, and Andrea Dovizioso, whose 18th qualifying position made it a truly bittersweet afternoon for Ducati.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1'55.687    
2 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'55.990 0.303 0.303
3 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'55.998 0.311 0.008
4 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'56.074 0.387 0.076
5 12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'56.131 0.444 0.057
6 44 Pol Espargaro KTM 1'56.142 0.455 0.011
7 33 Brad Binder KTM 1'56.299 0.612 0.157
8 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'56.454 0.767 0.155
9 36 Joan Mir Suzuki 1'56.512 0.825 0.058
10 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'56.515 0.828 0.003
11 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'56.571 0.884 0.056
12 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'56.797 1.110 0.226
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'56.230    
Q2 33 Brad Binder KTM 1'56.291 0.061 0.061
13 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'56.328 0.098 0.037
14 43 Jack Miller Ducati 1'56.352 0.122 0.024
15 53 Tito Rabat Ducati 1'56.695 0.465 0.343
16 27 Iker Lecuona KTM 1'56.764 0.534 0.069
17 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'56.822 0.592 0.058
18 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'57.034 0.804 0.212
19 38 Bradley Smith Aprilia 1'57.438 1.208 0.404
20 6 Stefan Bradl Honda 1'57.573 1.343 0.135
21 73 Alex Marquez Honda 1'57.606 1.376 0.033
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Does zarco have the ride height adjuster on his '19?

Does zarco have the ride height adjuster on his '19?

I don't need to run through the above but what a great melting pot of riders and marques (sic) here! A heady mix of European bikes, blended with a real tasty grid. I simply do not subscribe to that well known door and window expert Mr Puig's view (window, view, anybody?) that the race to the title will be lessened without MM93, it could be the most memorable yet. And wouldn't it be nice to see works Hondas in the legendary red, white and blue if the Repsol team continue to hold up the grid at t'other end?!

One interesting feature (I think) I saw was Stefan Bradl sporting an Alpinestars cap in an interview yet wearing Dainese leathers and gloves, couldn't see the boots. Strange. Or is it just me...

Well done Johann Zarco! If I recall correctly Zarco has had pole at Brno before, in the wet I think. Good skills in low grip conditions. Fast enough when the bench Marc isn't riding at least. So "not a top team" and a rider not favoured in the paddock have a great result, how good is MotoGp? Fabulously unpredictable!

If last year's Ducati is so fast why not Dovi & Miller? I have no answer. Zarco is good at riding the bike he has. Rather than wishing it was perfect & constantly changing settings. Seems to work in qualifying. Hope JZ5 (and the other Ducs) do well in the race.

Bonne chance Johann!

A journalist said during the qualifying press conference that Dovi "had not renewed for 2021" with Ducati. Is this official for 2021 or just an "at the moment" comment?

And very nice to see both of you, David and Neil Morrison.