Today Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo became the first rider in seven years to secure five pole positions in a row. Maverick Viñales put in a strong performance during an eventful Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya Q2 session filled with yellow flag situations and took sixth place on the grid.
Montmeló (Spain), 5th June 2021
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo always enjoys qualifying and had even more fun securing his fifth pole position on the trot in front of the cheering spectators at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Maverick Viñales was on route to secure a position on the front row, but ultimately came 0.108s short. He will start tomorrow’s race from sixth on the grid.

Quartararo let the rest of the Q2 rider field head out on track before him, keen to find some clear track space. He set a first flying lap that was already fast enough for provisional pole and went on to improve it to a 1’38.853s to keep hold of the number 1 spot as he returned to the box.

With four minutes still on the clock, El Diablo resumed his qualifying mission. He was pushing as much as he could, but with multiple crashes from other riders causing yellow flag situations, he was unable to put in a completely clean lap. Still his best time, set on lap 3/7, kept him in first place with a 0.037s advantage.

Viñales was the first rider to storm out of pit lane at the start of the Q2 shoot-out. His first lap put him in eighth place after all the benchmark laps were in. On his next attempt he moved up to third, before heading back into the pits with just under eight minutes remaining.

Less than three minutes later, the Spaniard started his second run. However, being followed by other riders, he opted to roll out of his next lap. He then had to push, though, and improved his time but not his position. The number-12 rider was lying in tenth as he started his final try. His 1’39.157s last lap briefly put him on the front row, but he ultimately finished the session in sixth place, 0.304s from first.
Massimo Meregalli

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

Fabio is oozing confidence at the moment. He and his crew are able to adapt the bike and his riding style session by session and the results speak for themselves. Maverick also did a good qualifying despite being followed again by other riders. We are noticing the progress he and his crew are making this weekend, which is positive as well. We are very happy to have secured yet another pole position. It’s Fabio’s fifth in a row, and to do it at the Monster Energy sponsored Catalan GP is great, but we are staying down to earth. It’s not until tomorrow that the championship points are being distributed. Both Fabio’s and Maverick’s race pace seem to be in order, as shown in the FP4 results. But we still expect a tough race, where we have to find the right balance between tyre endurance and optimal performance. We will do some final nitpicking to perfect the bikes’ settings today, so we can test them in tomorrow’s Warm Up and then we hope to give the spectators at this track a show to remember during the race. We are not 100% sure about what the weather will be like tomorrow. The forecasts are predicting some rain this evening. We hope that the remainder of the Sunday will be dry, because wet conditions would make the race very unpredictable.
Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

Qualifying was great! I did a great first run, but actually my best lap wasn’t that perfect. I thought that I could improve a little bit more. On my second run, I had prepared the rear tyre really well, but then I was riding under yellow flags in sector 3. Still, the most important thing is that we are on the front row in P1. I’m so happy to see the fans back at the circuit. I think that’s giving everyone a boost. Thanks to the team, and thanks to everyone, and let’s enjoy the race tomorrow.
Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales

I am very happy about the work done today. I think we made a big improvement in FP3. In FP4 we tried many different things. From the Friday to the Saturday, we made a big leap forward and we want to try to make another one tomorrow. I feel good. We are feeling optimistic about getting on the podium. We will see. So far everything is working well, and we are not under pressure. We know that improving our level takes time, and we are working on it.