There is always a first time and this time it was Franco Morbidelli’s turn who took his first pole position in MotoGP at the Barcelona circuit.
A performance that is enhanced by an all Yamaha front row considering his teammate Fabio Quartararo and his mentor Valentino Rossi will start next to him.
Morbidelli was unable to improve his time until the end of the FP3 session on Friday. After an abandoned lap for overstepping, Franco finished the session in seventh place with a best time of 1’39.774. But the Italo-Brazilian had no such problems in qualifying and clocked an unbeatable 1’38.798.
For teammate Quartararo, the yellow flags hampered the start of his qualifying session, but Fabio soon recovered. His best time was just 0.210 seconds slower than his teammate. This is his twentieth front row start in MotoGP out of 27 Grands Prix.
“Today was a wonderful day, but yesterday was good too – admitted Morbidelli – It was good to set the fastest lap, it’s a really good feeling. Also because It’s always difficult to beat Fabio in the qualifying round. I felt great on the bike and knew straight away that I could push a lot with both tires. Now it’s about perfecting everything for tomorrow and getting off to a good start. We have a good pace, but there are many riders with a pace similar to ours. It will be important to get a little bit better, but I’m sure it will be a good race. The problem is getting and keeping the tires up to temperature, but that’s the same for everyone. The soft has good potential, but so does the medium: choosing the right one will be fundamental. I would also like to congratulate Valentino on another year in MotoGP and tell him that he is joining a great team. It will be nice to have him as a teammate.”
Quartararo: “I expected Franco to be fast, but not that fast!”
“I am very happy to be back on the front row in Barcelona – said Quartararo, recalling his poles in 2019 – I expected Franco to be fast but not that fast! Four Yamahas in the top five is a good thing. I think tomorrow it will be very important to get a good start, in fact I need to get my best start ever and a good first lap, but I’m confident on the bike. Let’s see what we can achieve tomorrow but our pace is great and I think the only problem is which tire to choose. It’s a difficult decision, but I’m happy with the work the team has done so far. We’ll see how it will be tomorrow: my goal is to use the soft tire but we’ll make our decision later, we’re all in the same position so we’ll see what to do. Regarding the announcement of Rossi’s approval, I can only say that I am very happy for him, for the team and also for me because I love having him on the track.”