Incidents during the day for both Repsol Honda Team riders left Pol Espargaro and Marc Marquez unable to deliver on their full potential over one lap.
Saturday at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España began with the ever-important Free Practice 3 session, a final chance to earn a direct pass into Q2. Marc Marquez was one of the first riders to go faster in the session, jumping from outside the top 15 to fifth within the opening minutes of the session. Unfortunately, Marquez suffered a fast fall at Turn 7 in the final minutes of FP3, crashing heavily but escaping major injury. This was confirmed by a brief visit to local hospital for a CT scan.
Back on track for Free Practice 4, Marquez confirmed his physical condition and did what work remained before Q1. Initially setting the pace in the 15-minute session, a number of moments later in the session saw Marquez unable to improve beyond fourth, lining up in 14th for Sunday’s Gran Premio Red Bull de España.
Turn 7 would prove a challenge for Pol Espargaro as well, falling in the final minutes of Free Practice 4. While walking away unharmed, Espargaro was left with a single Repsol Honda Team machine for Q1. Until this point, Espargaro had been steadily working to improve his pace and feeling on the RC213V, enjoying a very positive FP4 overall.
With a 1’37.407 in Q1, Espargaro missed a Q2 position by just 0.057s as he qualifies in 13th for Sunday’s race. Espargaro’s Q1 time would have placed him 11th in Q2. Nevertheless, Espargaro is determined to show what he can do in tomorrow’s race.
Takaaki Nakagami ended the day as the fastest Honda, clinching a fifth place start on his LCR Honda machine.
The race marks a milestone as Repsol Honda Team riders are set to make their 1000th Grand Prix start in tomorrow’s Spanish GP. A relationship which began in 1995, Repsol and Honda have taken 15 Riders’ Championship and 10 Teams’ Championships in the journey to this 1000th start.
Spanish GP Qualifying Results
Built in 1986 and hosting its first Grand Prix one year later, the circuit of Jerez is now one of the most popular MotoGP venues and the focal point for a city fanatical about sport. Set in a slight valley in the south of Spain, Jerez is blessed with consistently… read more.
|Length||4.423 kilometres / 2.748 miles|
|Longest straight||0.607 kilometres / 0.377 miles|
|Resurfacing||Complete resurfacing before 2018 round|
Circuito de Jerez, Jerez, Spain - View in Google Maps
|Pole Position||1m 36.170s (165.5km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2022)|
|Race Lap||1m 37.216s (163.7km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2023)|
|Race Time||41m 00.554s (161.7km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2022)|
|2023 Race Winner||Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati)|
|2023 Sprint Winner||Brad Binder (KTM)|