One of Italy’s rising stars has matched a Valentino Rossi pole position record ahead of race day in Portimao
Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) is on pole position for the fifth time in succession after bagging a new Portimao all-time lap record in Q2. The Italian will be hunting a third victory of the season at the Grande Prémio Brembo do Algarve, and before race day, here’s 10 stats that have emerged after qualifying to get your teeth sunk into.
1. This is Bagnaia’s fifth successive pole position, making him the first Ducati rider to do so in five successive MotoGP™ races since Casey Stoner, who did it seven times in a row in 2008 from the Catalan to the San Marino GPs.
2. In addition, Bagnaia becomes the second rider to take five poles in a row this year, along with Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) from Portugal to Catalunya.
3. With this pole position, Bagnaia becomes the first Italian to take five pole positions in a row since Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) from the 2003 Malaysian GP to the Spanish GP 2004.
4. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) has qualified second, equalling his best qualifying result of the season so far from Catalunya, Aragon, San Marino and Emilia-Romagna.
5. With Bagnaia and Miller, this is the sixth Ducati 1-2 in qualifying so far this year and the second in back-to-back races along with Aragon and San Marino.
6. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) has qualified in third place as the highest-placed Suzuki rider. This is Mir’s best qualifying in the premier class and the first time he has qualified in the top three in MotoGP™. However, it’s his second front row start along with Styria last year, which he gained following Johann Zarco’s (Pramac Racing) penalty.
7. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing), who missed the race at Portimao earlier this year after a heavy crash in FP3, has qualified fourth as the top Independent Team and rookie rider. This is the eighth time this season he starts from the front two rows of the grid.
8. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) has qualified sixth as the top Honda rider. He will be aiming to stand on the podium for the first time in back-to-back races since last year in the European and Valencia GPs.
9. Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) has qualified eighth for his best qualifying result since he stepped up to MotoGP™ last year.
10. Winner last year at the Portuguese GP, from pole position, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) has qualified 17th. It’s the ninth time so far this year he has failed to qualify within the top 10. He will be aiming to stand on the podium for the first time since he was second at the Sachsenring earlier this year.