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    10 June 2023

    Italian MotoGP Qualifying: Bagnaia beats Marquez to claim pole position.

    Bagnaia Beats Marquez to Take Pole Position in Catalonia Grand Prix

    In a thrilling qualifying session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Francesco Bagnaia secured his third pole position of the season after edging out Marc Marquez by just under a tenth of a second. The Italian rider set a time of 1m44.855s with just three minutes left on the clock, becoming the first rider to break into the 1m45s barrier.

    With threat of rain looming around, all riders headed out early to get their banker laps in before the downpour hit. Jorge Martin leaded Pramac’s charge and topped Q2 initially with his cracking lap time of 1m45.268s followed by VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi making it Ducati’s one-two punch at front.

    When riders started their second set of runs, things got heated up as Bagnaia encountered Marquez exiting from pit lane which resulted in an altercation between both riders. Nevertheless, this incident didn’t deter Bagnaia who was able to move ahead and start his flying lap while having Marquez following him closely behind for advantage.

    As they both entered each sector quickly without any hesitation or error during those tense moments towards end Q2 session – it became clear that only one would take pole position today: either reigning champion Francesco Bagnaia or Honda rival Marc Marquez.

    Although Marquez looked like he could beat Bagnaia’s time during final seconds but couldn’t match him in fourth sector speed causing him to settle for second place with impressive timing record of 1m44.933s.

    No other rider could match these two giants timings during last few minutes leaving KTM’s Jack Miller and Alex Rins far behind securing third-row spots respectively on the grid.

    Meanwhile, Aleix Espargaro put up an incredible performance despite his injury and qualified seventh on the factory Aprilia. Johann Zarco’s P9 finish for Pramac Ducati was a positive sign after consecutive retirements in previous races this season.

    For Maverick Vinales it wasn’t a good day as he failed to progress beyond Q1 by just 0.032s, finishing with unlucky number 13th spot on Aprilia bike while both factory Yamahas got eliminated in Q1 too with Franco Morbidelli at P14 ahead of teammate Fabio Quartararo who faced third successive Q1 elimination this year.

    RNF’s rookie rider Raul Fernandez also suffered a big crash at Biondetti 1 during last few minutes which resulted in him qualifying only 20th position overall.

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