Aleix Espargaro brings Aprilia ahead of everyone, with Jack Miller second and Jorge Martin third: Aprilia, KTM and Ducati in the front row. Italians: Francesco Bagnaia fifth, Luca Marini ninth, Marco Bezzecchi 13th, Franco Morbidelli 14th, Fabio Di Giannantonio 15th. The Yamaha sinks (Quartararo 16th), the Honda badly, sixth Dani Pedrosa. A few drops of rain made qualifying particularly spectacular
April 29, 2023
Jerez de la Frontera – A few minutes before Q2 it starts raining. First a few drops, then a little more forcefully, but the asphalt is hot and doesn’t get wet more than that.
The pilots enter almost all with slickbut the first laps are from goose bumps: entering at 10-11-12 with droplets on the fairing is really scary, it takes a unimaginable courage.
The pilots gain confidence, we start pushing harder and harder, it stops completely rain.
In the first position they alternate: Miller, Marquez, Marini, Espargaro, Marquez, Espargaro, Marquez, Miller, Zarco, Miller, Zarco, Espargaro, Miller and finally Aleix Espargaro, whom the garage had called to change tyres. Alexis, however, he hasn’t returned and, as the engineer Paolo Bonora recognized, it was the right move. 1’37”216 for Aleix, who, despite a crash in the finale of P3, seems to have the situation in hand: he has pace, as well as speed. Well done Espargaro: Aprilia can dreamseems to have everything to be able to do very well.
only tenth Maverick Viñales: in recent days he has tried dozens and dozens of starts, but starting from the fourth row, the Sprint seems compromised.
Miller and Martin okay
The initial conditions they exaltedas expected, Jack Millerthe first to push hard despite the initial rain. But he was also fast in the final, up to second place: “It felt a bit like playing catch Russian roulette: I am particularly satisfied”.
Jack has good pace, as well as he has it George Martinwhich seems especially load: he is the first Ducati on the grid.
Then there’s Pecco Bagnaia, fifth after going through Q1: he was in trouble in P3 too. struggles a lot with the front and he couldn’t feel the front end, but in qualifying he tried to ride above the problems, doing it well. The second row is a good result: for the moment, he doesn’t have the pace of the best, but with a good start the situation could change.
Ninth Luca Marini, who perhaps got the times wrong in Q2, as did Alex Marquez, very fast at the start of the session, but inevitably down towards the end. Out of Q2 Marco Bezzecchi: 4 cents (!) would have been enough for him to enter the 12.
KTM on the rise
Beware of the fourth place of Brad Binderwhich he was capable of in the past on this track win a GP starting last: from the second row, it can be really tough, because he has the pace.
The conditions, on the other hand, have heavily penalized Dani Pedrosa, who however climbed up to sixth place in the final stages: in the first three sectors, he was just a few cents from pole, then lost in T4. But his is still a great performance: great Dani!
Yamaha (and Honda) disaster
In Jerez, Fabio Quartararo had conquered four poles and a second place, today it is 16th! As I have emphasized several times, Fabio is inevitably “dropped the chain”, with a Yamaha that he has lost all strong points of the past, without improving the weak ones.
Truly a disasterwith Franco Morbidelli, for once, ahead of his teammate, 14th.
Male also there Honda: the best is Takaaki Nakagami, 11th, while Alex Rins, splendid winner in Austin, is 18th, with Joan Mir 20th. Let’s tell the truth: the European houses are of another level.
They were beautiful, intense, spectacular qualifying sessions: a pity that in ten minutes, no one will remember them anymore, because the Sprint is looming at 3pm. Well, I still have a lot of doubts about this new format.