Grand prix

Bagnaia bags 2021 pole hat-trick with COTA Q2 barnstormer

Pecco becomes the first Ducati rider since Lorenzo to claim three or more successive poles, but rival Quartararo is right there with him

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) will start from pole position at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas after setting a blistering 2:02.781 in MotoGP™ Q2. Pecco becomes the first Italian to claim three MotoGP™ poles in a row since Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in 2009, and Bagnaia will start alongside World Championship leader and rival Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP). Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) qualifies off pole position at COTA for the first time, but it’s a first front row of the season for the eight-time World Champion in third.

Marini and Mir come through Q1

Reigning World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) found himself in Q1 and in the opening 15 minutes of qualifying, the Spaniard made no mistake – but Mir wasn’t the fastest rider to go through. Rookie Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) set a 2:03.410 to sail into Q2 a tenth and a half quicker than anyone else, as we saw Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) crash unhurt.