Bagnaia had to fend off early pressure from reigning MotoGP champion Fabio Quartararo, but in the end the Yamaha rider was no match for the Ducati star.
Before even completing a flying lap, pole hound Jorge Martin crashed at turn one, bringing the tally in qualifying to three. Continue reading to find out who else suffered falls…
Although they had to wait an extra lap to really go for it following the yellow flags in sector one, Bagnaia began his tilt for pole with Marc Marquez right behind him.
While Bagnaia dragged Marquez round to third, the Ducati rider went top by a big margin over team-mate Jack Miller. However, provisional pole soon changed as Quartararo set the quickest lap of the weekend thus far.
Looking to recover from his early crash, Martin went eighth with just over five minutes to go.
Changing up his plan of attack, Marquez jumped onto the back of Quartararo to begin stint #2.
While Mir and Enea Bastianini suffered sessions-ending crashes, it was all change at the front as Bagnaia set a new all-time lap record.
A time of 1:36.170s put the Italian over six tenths clear of Quartararo, who himself reduced the margin down to four tenths. Just like he did behind Bagnaia, Marquez gained time behind Quartararo and slotted into fourth.
That then became fifth as Aleix Espargaro moved up to third ahead of Miller.
Rins, Espargaro, Binder knocked out in Q1 by MotoGP rookie Bezzecchi
Crucial to dictating what kind of race is possible, Alex Rins was one of four riders who would have been considered ‘favourites’ to advance to Q2.
And with that, Rins’ first effort put him third fastest after Brad Binder and Pol Espargaro slotted into first and second. However, The Suzuki rider’s second flying lap was enough to see him go top by -0.022s.
Just behind Rins and Espargaro was Binder, as the South African failed to improve on his following laps, while Johann Zarco was only fourth for Pramac Ducati.
There were early issues for Miguel Oliveira as the Portuguese rider remained in pit lane while everyone else was setting flying laps. The KTM rider eventually got out with five minutes to go.
After momentarily going fastest by nearly four tenths, Espargaro was relegated to second by a charging Marco Bezzecchi.
But as the Italian made a move on Andrea Dovizioso heading into turn one with the hope of going even faster, the rookie then crashed at the very next corner.
Despite looking like his lap could challenge the top two, Rins lost nearly two tenths in the final sector which resulted in him missing out on Q2 – will start Sunday’s race from 14th.
One rider who didn’t fail to advance was Zarco, as the French rider set a stunning time of 1:38.003s on his very last lap.
Joining Bezzecchi in crashing late on was fellow rookie Remy Gardner.