Enea Bastianini said he tried to make Francesco Bagnaia "nervous" by overtaking him, a tactic that worked as he secured the win at the French Grand Prix on Sunday in MotoGP.

To make Bagnaia's afternoon even worse, the Ducati rider crashed out just a few turns later.

After working his way up from fifth on the grid, Bastianini made his way up to Bagnaia at the front before putting pressure on his fellow Italian.

The drama arrived on lap 21 as Bastianini overtook Bagnaia before the latter immediately took his position back, only to hit the kicker and run wide.

That allowed Bastianini to ease back into the lead, with Bagnaia's race ending after going into the gravel shortly after.

"I'm really happy about this race. The weekend has been really complicated for me with some crashes," Bastianini said after his win.

"In the race I see that my pace was really nice, and at the end when I see Pecco [Bagnaia] very close I understand 'okay now you have to stay behind', and I tried overtaking him in the second corner to make him a little bit nervous, and at the end he goes long and I win this race.

"It's all for my team because they work a lot at this Grand Prix to give me the best bike, and it's incredible this job."

Bagnaia started on pole alongside fellow Ducati rider Jack Miller, who did at least finish second, and the Australian explained why he had allowed Bagnaia to get back ahead of him early in the race.

"The boys rode a strong race at the front there. Pecco wanted to pass me early on, it seemed like he had a bit better speed," Miller said. "I had good grip, I just wasn’t able to push off on that right-hand side.

"Pecco wanted to pull away so I was like 'alright, go for it', but as soon as he got in the front he sort of started having moment after moment.

"Then I saw Bastianini coming and coming. He put the move on me and to be honest I had nothing back for him until he and Pecco got into a bit of a battle, my lap times started coming down again there towards the end and I was actually able to come a bit closer to him, but yeah he was riding really well today."

Enea Bastianini secured a big win at the French Grand Prix after a battle with Francesco Bagnaia, which ended with the latter crashing out.

Bagnaia started on pole alongside fellow Ducati rider Jack Miller, and led for most of the race.

However, after working his way up from fifth, Bastianini overtook Miller and started making ground up on Bagnaia at the front.

The drama arrived on lap 21 as Bastianini overtook Bagnaia, before the latter immediately took his position back, only to hit the kicker and run wide, allowing Bastianini to ease back into the lead.

Matters got much worse for Bagnaia just a few turns later as he crashed out, seemingly trying too hard to make the ground up.

Bagnaia had finished on the podium in six of his previous 12 MotoGP races (five wins), though had not reached it in any of his three Grand Prixs at Le Mans in the top category, and that run continued this time around.

Miller came home in second to at least give Ducati something to cheer, while Aleix Espargaro held off a challenge from Fabio Quartararo to take third.

Quartararo had finished on the podium in his previous two races and if he had done so in France, would have equalled his best run so far in the top category (three podiums in a row twice).

Alex Rins and Joan Mir made it a weekend to forget for Suzuki Ecstar as they both failed to finish, with Rins crashing out early after losing control of his bike when re-joining the track from the gravel on lap three. Mir made an uncharacteristic error to also go down in the gravel.

Marc Marquez finished sixth and has now collected points in his last nine MotoGP races (including two wins and three podiums), which was already his best run since 2019 and the best scoring run of any of the current riders.

TOP 10

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing)
2. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo) +2.718secs
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +4.182s
4. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +4.288s
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +11.139s
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +15.155s
7. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) +16.680s
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +18.459s
9. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing) +20.541s
10. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) +21.486s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 102
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) 98
3. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) 94
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 69
5. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo) 62

Teams

1. Aprilia Racing 131
2. Suzuki Ecstar 125
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 121
4. Ducati Lenovo 118
5. Red Bull KTM 99

Francesco Bagnaia secured another lap record and so another pole position at the French Grand Prix on Saturday, this time leading a Ducati one-two ahead of Jack Miller.

Bagnaia had ended defending MotoGP champion Fabio Quartararo's sequence of four consecutive poles last time out at the Grand Prix of Spain, setting a Jerez record.

The Italian protected that position to win for the first time this season and will hope to repeat the feat at Le Mans, where he was again dominant in qualifying.

Bagnaia's time of 1:30.450 edged out Miller by 0.069 seconds, with Quartararo – looking to become the first home winner in France since 1954 – forced to settle for fourth.

But the Monster Energy Yamaha rider, who again leads the standings, recognises Bagnaia and Ducati are doing something special in qualifying.

Indeed, Bagnaia has a leading eight poles since the start of last season.

"I was disappointed, but two minutes later I was happy," Quartararo said. "On the qualifying, we miss something – all the time, not only in qualifying. 

"Ducati is able to really do something crazy – and the riders, I would not say only Ducati.  

"But we are all the same in the race pace, so it's difficult to really make the difference."

Even so, Bagnaia believes Quartararo will be the man to beat, although he added: "I think after the modification I did in qualifying, I am more close now.

"But it's difficult to say now. The forecast says tomorrow it will rain. I hope it will not be like this, but it looks like it could be."

PROVISIONAL GRID

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 1:30.450
2. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.069s
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +0.159s
4. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.238s
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) +0.261s
6. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.413s
7. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.493s
8. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.527s
9. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +0.618s
10. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +0.698s

Valentino Rossi has retired from MotoGP – and soon his iconic number 46 will follow him.

The number was associated with Rossi's bike throughout his epic 26-season career, in which he won nine championships across all classes.

Rossi quit the sport at the end of 2021, having celebrated 115 wins and 235 podiums.

Now, at the upcoming Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, the rider's number will also be retired.

The 46 has not been used in the 2022 MotoGP season, having been left vacant by Rossi, but the competition has moved to ensure it will not be taken in future either.

"The number 46 will be retired from use in the MotoGP class at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello," a statement read on Saturday.

"Synonymous with nine-time world champion and MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi, the number will be signed off in style at the upcoming Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley.

"The retirement ceremony will take place on the main straight on Saturday, just ahead of qualifying.

"Rossi will be in attendance as his legacy is honoured and number retired, having raced the number 46 into the MotoGP Legends Hall of Fame over 26 seasons of success – creating one of the most recognisable calling cards in global sport."

Suzuki has confirmed plans to pull out of MotoGP at the end of the season, with the manufacturer citing economic factors for its decision.

The Japanese marque had been recently mooted to quit the series, and that was made official in a statement on Thursday that said talks were taking place with MotoGP promoters Dorna Sports.

The Suzuki statement read: "Suzuki Motor Corporation is in discussions with Dorna regarding the possibility of ending Suzuki's participation in MotoGP at the end of 2022.

"Unfortunately, the current economic situation and the need to concentrate its effort on the big changes that the automotive world is facing in these years, are forcing Suzuki to drastically decrease racing-related costs and to use all its economical and human resources in developing new technologies.

"We would like to express our deepest gratitude to our Suzuki Ecstar team, to all those who have supported Suzuki's motorcycle racing activities for many years and to all Suzuki fans who have given us their enthusiastic support."

Dorna Sports reacted to initial reports of Suzuki considering pulling out of the championship by saying terms of its agreement with MotoGP meant the manufacturer could not make such a decision unilaterally.

"However, should Suzuki depart following an agreement between both parties, Dorna will decide on the ideal number of riders and teams racing in the MotoGP class from 2023," the Dorna Sports statement read. "Dorna continues to receive high levels of interest from a number of both official factories and Independent Teams looking to join the MotoGP grid."

Thursday's confirmation of talks with Dorna appears to have brought Suzuki's exit a significant step closer.

Suzuki Ecstar won the team title in 2020, when Spanish rider Joan Mir triumphed in the riders' championship. Mir and the team both finished third in 2021.

In an apparent response to the announcement, Mir posted on social media a picture of his 2020 celebration with team staff, with the message: "You are the best! Always in my heart.".

Francesco Bagnaia was physically ailing during his Grand Prix of Spain victory but believes he is now in the "best shape" on Ducati's 2022 bike.

Bagnaia finished last season with four wins in six races – his first victories in MotoGP – only to make a slow start to the new campaign.

The Ducati man had not reached the podium this year heading into Sunday's race at Jerez, but pole position in qualifying set him up to end that run.

Indeed, Bagnaia led from start to finish, holding off defending champion and season leader Fabio Quartararo.

It was not as comfortable a ride as it may have seemed, however, as Bagnaia revealed afterwards he is still dealing with a shoulder injury suffered in a qualifying crash in Portugal.

"I was very worried about the race because this morning in the warm-up I was without painkillers, and I was struggling," he said

"But then Clinica Mobile always has something good to give to you, and that helped me.

"Just the last part of the race was difficult because all the braking is in the right apart from the last corner. Turn 6 was very difficult to stop the bike because it was like someone was putting pressure on my [shoulder], and it was painful."

But having returned to winning ways, Bagnaia heads into the rest of the season on a high.

"For sure we are back in best shape, not physically but in terms of my riding," he added. "I want to get home and recover because I think that today we have finally found what we were missing."

Francesco Bagnaia converted pole position at the Grand Prix of Spain for his first victory of 2022 ahead of MotoGP defending champion and season leader Fabio Quartararo.

After finishing the previous campaign with four wins in six races – his first victories in the top category – Bagnaia had endured a slow start this year, failing to even reach the podium prior to this weekend.

But a record lap in qualifying put the Ducati man on pole in Jerez, and he led from start to finish to kickstart his season.

Quartararo, starting in second, was Bagnaia's closest challenger, making a strong start and applying intense pressure for the first half of the race.

But Bagnaia was then able to open up a gap and enjoy a slightly more comfortable ride for his first win at this event, and fifth podium in his past seven entries across all categories.

Quartararo could at least be comforted by his now seven-point lead in the championship on a tough day for Alex Rins, who had been level at the summit but had to settle for 19th.

With Aleix Espargaro – now Quartararo's nearest challenger – completing the podium, the top three ended as they began, although the battle for third was a thriller.

Both Jack Miller and Marc Marquez, chasing his 100th MotoGP podium, got the jump on Espargaro early on, seemingly setting up a direct battle between the pair.

Marquez eventually got past Miller with five laps remaining following a stunning move at Turn 5, which he made stick despite the pace of the Ducati.

But that manoeuvre opened the door for Espargaro, running in fifth, to come back at them, and he profited when Marquez went wide at Turn 13 and required an incredible save to stay on his bike, catching himself with his left elbow.

Espargaro was able to build a bigger gap, although Marquez at least passed Miller again for fourth, delivering the drama that was missing at the front of the race.

Francesco Bagnaia expressed his delight after claiming pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix with an all-time record lap at Jerez on Saturday.

Bagnaia set the new mark on the Circuito de Jerez with his 1:36.170 lap in Q2 to secure a first pole of the 2022 MotoGP season ahead of reigning champion Fabio Quartararo.

Quartararo was denied a fifth straight pole in as many premier-class appearances at the venue by the brilliance of Bagnaia, who returned in style following a crash at the Portuguese Grand Prix last week.

Speaking after the race, a thrilled Bagnaia said: "I'm really happy. We did a great job. 

"I was missing this feeling to be really fast and competitive. Thanks to all the guys in my team."

World champion Quartararo, who won in Portugal to take the lead in the overall standings, finished almost half a second behind Bagnaia and could only applaud the efforts of the Ducati rider.

"In qualifying, he was incredible: he was half a second faster than everyone else, so I think he managed to put in a really good lap," he said of Bagnaia after the race to reporters.

However, Quartararo remains confident heading into the race on Sunday after securing what he claims to be a vital second position on the grid.

"I think it will be super important for Sunday. It's a great position to start from," he explained.

"For us, the pace in FP4 was great. I think we can have a good race and the most important thing is tomorrow. I feel very confident."

Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro moved ahead of Bagnaia's team-mate Jack Miller to take third, while six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez settled for fifth.

Fabio Quartararo insisted that his first MotoGP win of the season will not impact any decision on his future after victory in the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday.

The defending champion had not won a race since the British Grand Prix at Silverstone last August, but eased to victory at the Algarve International Circuit, finishing more than five seconds ahead of second-placed Johann Zarco.

With previous championship leader Enea Bastianini crashing out in Portugal, Quartararo is now joint-top of the riders' championship standings along with Suzuki's Alex Rins, and was relieved to secure his first P1 of the year.

"It was quite a long time since I achieved the victory, I think it was in August at Silverstone," Quartararo said after the race.

"But also the tough times that I had this year. It was a short time, four races, but when you win the championship you always want to fight again for the championship."

The Yamaha rider has struggled in the early stages of this year, having finished second at the Indonesian Grand Prix, and no higher than seventh in any of the other three races this season.

"For me, it was tough to accept that I was happy to finish seventh in Austin [at the Grand Prix of the Americas]," he added, "because I improved a lot my race pace from the previous year [when finishing second], we have not made a massive improvement on the bike, we know what is going on.

"So, of course, it's tough for me to see the team applauding me for P7. In my mind, P7 is not good, but I was happy.

"But today to fight for the victory again was something special, something emotional because I have always said I will fight the same for P1, P5 or P10.

"And of course today it was much more fun, and that's why I got that emotional."

The 23-year-old has been rumoured to be unhappy with the pace of the bike at Yamaha, and while he believes his performance showed that the bike is "working", he did admit the speed is not ideal.

"I never the said the bike was not working," he added. "The bike is working in a way that when it's not working, you don't fight for this kind of position.

"It's true the bike is missing a lot of top speed, but in this track I was feeling not bad with the top speed because in the last corner I was exiting super fast."

Quartararo was asked if his victory will influence any decision he makes about his future at Yamaha beyond this season, replying simply: "No."

Fabio Quartararo won a MotoGP race for the first time this season, sending him top of the championship after a routine victory in the Portuguese Grand Prix, with Johann Zarco in second and Aleix Espargaro third.

Quartararo won the last Portuguese Grand Prix in 2021, although failed to finish in the top 10 in his other two MotoGP appearances at the Algarve International Circuit (14th in 2020 Portuguese GP and did not finish at the 2021 Algarve GP).

However, despite winning last year's championship, the Frenchman's previous race win was at the British Grand Prix in August.

Quartararo eased past Joan Mir early in Sunday's race in Portimao, though, and never looked back as he cruised to the win, while all the drama happened behind him.

Previous championship leader Enea Bastianini crashed out on lap 10, appearing to clip the seam of the curb at turn eight before sliding off the track while in 10th place.

Mir was left fighting for second place and was eventually overtaken by a determined Zarco, but things were to get worse for the Spaniard as Jack Miller, while attempting to pass on the inside, slid his bike and took both of them out of the race at the start of lap 16.

Mir has now gone six races in a row without a podium, which was already his worst run in MotoGP since his first 20 races in the top category between 2019 and 2020.

It was a performance to remember from Alex Rins, though, as he took his Suzuki from 23rd all the way up to fourth, making up a remarkable 13 places on the opening lap alone.

Elsewhere, there was some good old-fashioned racing between the Marquez brothers near the end of the race, with Marc ultimately getting the better of Alex to take sixth place.

TOP 10

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha)
2. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +5.409
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +6.068
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +9.633
5. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +13.573
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +16.163
7. Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) +16.183
8. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo) +16.511
9. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +16.769
10. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) +18.063

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 69
2. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 69
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 66
4. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 61
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 51

Teams

1. Suzuki Ecstar 115
2. Aprilia Racing 91
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 86
4. Red Bull KTM 81
5. Pramac Racing 79

Aleix Espargaro conceded he was fearful heading into the final session of Saturday's qualifying ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix.

A crash-laden Q1 at Portimao saw Remy Gardner and Francesco Bagnaia, who has finished on the podium in his last two races at the Algarve International Circuit, crash, with the latter failing to set a time.

Johann Zarco produced a stunning lap to come out on top in Q2 to take pole and spare Ducati's blushes, finishing ahead of Joan Mir and Espargaro, who across four races this season has collected 50 points, more than in two of his previous five whole seasons with Aprilia (44 points in 2018 and 42 in 2020).

Reigning champion Fabio Quartararo – the winner at Portimao last year – also struggled in the wet, though the Yamaha driver overcame a tricky moment to clinch fifth on the grid, while Marc Marquez, chasing his 100th MotoGP podium this weekend, was left to rue a yellow flag, having initially set the fastest lap.

After negotiating the difficult conditions, a relieved Espargaro was thrilled with his efforts.

He said: "I hate to say it – I was scared! Today I was scared, the wet patches were very slippery.

"When you are sitting in the garage and see many crashes, and all the crashes have been huge. You have to be very focused but you cannot be.

"I tried to feel perfectly the whole track to see where I could push in the last five minutes. I am very happy, this is like a victory because I hate these conditions, so I'm super happy."

Having recorded a time of 1:42.003, Zarco, too, acknowledged the state of the track made assessing where and when to push hard difficult.

"Pretty, pretty happy. I did not expect it to be so good. It was so tricky," the Frenchman said.

"I was pretty happy to go straight through Q2. I couldn't analyse the Q1 well. The best strategy was to stay on track, do the full 15 minutes with the same tyre to get confidence with the track, it worked pretty well for me."

Mir, meanwhile, revelled in taking a place on the front row for just the second time in his MotoGP career.

"In normal conditions we always struggle to make one lap but in tough conditions we can give a little but more," the Suzuki Ecstar rider said.  

"My feeling is improving. We are following good steps, we are improving and it looks like when we make a good step [forward], we don't go back. So it's important. Let's see if we can go faster tomorrow, but it will be a hard race."

Enea Bastianini toasted his Grand Prix of the Americas victory by treating himself to some burgers and said he is hungry to keep hold of top spot in the championship.

The Gresini rider passed Ducati's Jack Miller with five laps remaining at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas to record his second win in four races this season.

Bastianini finished 2.058 seconds ahead of closest challenger Alex Rins, who also overtook third-placed Miller, as the Italian added to his maiden MotoGP triumph in Qatar.

"It's a fantastic day," Bastianini said. "Miller had fantastic pace in the first part of the race, then I felt like I had to push, I accelerated like crazy and I won.

"Winning here in America is fantastic. Now we eat some burgers!"

Bastianini leads the riders' standings with four of the 21 races completed, sitting five points better off than Suzuki Ecstar rider Rins and 11 clear of Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia.

And the 24-year-old is beginning to believe that an unpredictable 2022, in which 10 riders have finished on the podium over the first four races, could be a memorable one.

"It's possible," Bastianini said when asked if he can retain top spot. "This is better than the Qatar win because we know we are consistent and every race we are on the front.

"We will see if we can repeat this result in the future. In European races I think the gap will be closer again."

Bastianini is just the third winner in the nine-year history of the race, with Marc Marquez having prevailed on seven previous occasions and Rins once, in 2019.

Marquez recovered from a poor start on Sunday to climb from 17th to sixth, while Joan Mir and Francesco Bagnaia rounded out the top five.

While Marquez climbed the standings late on, Miller fell from first to third in a race that he led for 15 of the 20 laps.

Rather than feeling too downbeat, though, the Australian simply congratulated Bastianini and Rins for finishing stronger.

"I have mixed feelings," he said. "I had a fantastic race. Enea passed me but I didn't make any mistakes.

"This championship is so long, anything can happen. It's wide open."

Enea Bastianini recorded his second victory of the 2022 MotoGP campaign, beating Alex Rins and Jack Miller to win the Grand Prix of the Americas in Houston, Texas.

The Italian became the first rider to rack up two victories this term after starting fifth on the grid, overtaking Miller with five laps to go in a fiercely competitive race.

The 24-year-old, who claimed his first MotoGP win in Qatar's curtain-raising race last month, made a strong start to fight his way into contention early on, entering second spot with nine laps to go.

Bastianini then passed Miller and pulled clear of the Australian, who dropped into third as Alex Rins clinched a second consecutive podium finish, keeping him second in the drivers' championship standings.

The Gresini rider ended the race 2.058 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, maintaining his lead at the top of the early-season riders' standings.

Elsewhere, Jorge Martin made a solid start from pole position, but suffered a poor end to the race in which he dropped to fourth with eight laps to go, and to eighth by the time he saw the chequered flag.

Marc Marquez suffered a horrendous start in Texas, dropping as low as 17th in the early stages, but recovered somewhat to finish sixth, while Joan Mir and Francesco Bagnaia rounded out the top five.

World champion Fabio Quartararo, meanwhile, finished in seventh as he struggles to match his terrific early-season form from 2021, and Aleix Espargaro could only manage a 13th-placed finish, one week after his sensational maiden victory in Argentina.

TOP 10

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini)
2. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +2.058
3. Jack Miller (Ducati) +2.312
4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +3.975
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +6.045
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +6.617
7. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +6.760
8. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +8.441
9. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +12.375
10. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +12.642

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 61
2. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 56
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 50
4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar)) 46
5. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 44

Teams

1. Suzuki Ecstar 102
2. Red Bull KTM 70
3. Aprilia 69
4. Gresini 61
5. Pramac Racing 59

Jorge Martin led the first ever Ducati quintet in a stunning MotoGP qualifying, finishing top of the time sheets at Circuit of the Americas on Saturday.

Martin's pole was enough to set a new all-time MotoGP lap record around COTA, while also keeping his front-row start record in 2022 unblemished.

Jack Miller shot to the top of the order, clearing Ducati factory teammate Francesco Bagnaia and it looked good enough to secure pole for the Australian at the Grand Prix of the Americas.

Enter the qualifying specialist Martin, however, gaining close to two tenths in the final sector on his way to setting a new all-time lap record at COTA by just three thousandths of a second.

Seven-time pole winner at this track and dubbed the King of COTA, Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez made an error on his final lap in Q3, meaning a starting position of ninth – his worst qualifying result in Austin.

Behind the top three of Martin, Miller and Bagnaia to clear out the front row for Ducati was the second Pramac bike of Johann Zarco, who finished over five tenths off Martin's pole time.

Reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo was in a decent rhythm in the early stages of qualifying, but slid his Yamaha off at the penultimate corner.

He was able to get back out onto a second bike, but was nearly sixth tenths off the eventual pace in sixth, the only Yamaha in the top 12 qualifiers.

Pole and race winner at the Argentine Grand Prix last weekend, Aleix Espargaro will be heading from row fourth row in 13th, just missing out on the final qualifying session.

Provisional classification

1. Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) 2:02.029
2. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.003s
3. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +0.128
4. Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) +0.531
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Ducati) +0.539
6. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Yamaha) +0.595
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.655
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.908
9. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +0.999
10. Takami Nakagami (LCR Honda) +1.015
11. Luca Marini (Mooney Ducati) +1.020
12. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +1.057

 

Following his stunning pole position and race win double in Argentina this weekend, Aleix Espargaro believes this year's Aprilia is the "best bike" he has had in his career.

The Spaniard took Aprilia's first ever MotoGP era pole on Saturday at Termas, going five thousandths of a second within Marc Marquez's all-time lap record set in 2014.

He backed it up by winning on Sunday and fighting his way past Pramac Ducati's Jorge Martin, who took the lead after the first corner.

After claiming his first win in over 200 MotoGP races as well as the fastest lap at Termas, the 32-year-old was on cloud nine.

"I'm extremely happy because since Qatar I felt, even in the pre-season, I felt like I had the best bike I've ever had in my career," Espargaro said.

"Also, in Qatar I felt strong and we have step-by-step shown a lot of potential. Yesterday we proved we were the fastest, and also today in the race it was not lucky or a wet race and now we are leading."

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