For the third time in a row in 2021, Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) is on pole position as the Italian gets set to try and beat World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. To get geared up for a super Sunday in Texas, get stuck into 10 facts that have emerged from qualifying.
1. This is Bagnaia’s third successive pole, becoming the first Ducati to do so in three successive MotoGP™ events since Jorge Lorenzo in 2018 from Silverstone (although the race was cancelled) to Aragon.
2. With this pole position, Bagnaia became the first Italian rider to take three pole positions in a row since Valentino Rossi back in 2009 (from Sachsenring to Brno).
3. On Sunday, Bagnaia will be aiming to become the second Ducati rider to take three wins in a row along with Casey Stoner (who did it twice: once in 2007 and once in 2008).
4. Fun fact: this is the seventh successive MotoGP™ race that the top two in the Championship, Quartararo and Bagnaia, are sharing the front row of the grid.
5. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) failed to qualify on pole position for the first time since the Circuit of the Americas was introduced to the calendar in 2013. But he has qualified third, which is his first front-row start since he was third at the 2020 Spanish GP (prior to his injury), 441 days ago.
6. This is the first time a Honda rider has not taken pole position on US soil since Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) at Laguna Seca back in 2012.
7. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) has qualified sixth which is the 13th time this year (out of 15) he starts from the front two rows. He will be aiming to stand on the podium for the first time since he was second at the Catalan GP this season.
8. After passing through Q1, 2020 World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) has qualified eighth for his third best qualifying result of the season. Of his 12 MotoGP™ podiums so far, eight have come after he failed to start from the front two rows of the grid.
9. Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) has qualified in ninth after passing through Q1 to claim his second best qualifying result of his rookie season so far, after Portugal when he was eighth. Up to now, Marini’s best MotoGP™ result is a fifth place achieved in Austria.
10. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team), who is the only non-Italian and non-Spanish rider who has stood on the podium in MotoGP™ in Austin, has qualified 10th for his worst qualifying result since he was 14th at the Teruel GP last year. – www.motogp.com