Teruel MotoGP Qualifying Results - Takaaki Nakagami scores first MotoGP pole

Takaaki Nakagami is well placed to become the ninth different 2020 MotoGP race winner after securing his maiden pole in the Teruel MotoGP

Takaaki Nakagami - LCR Honda

Takaaki Nakagami became the first Japanese rider to secure a MotoGP pole position in 16 years after storming to the top spot in qualifying for the Teruel MotoGP, the second of back-to-back events being held at Motorland Aragon.

The LCR Honda rider - who sealed a multi-year contract extension with Honda in the days leading up to this event - hasn’t strayed outside of the top two positions throughout the weekend’s practice sessions and duly translated that into searing pace when it mattered in qualifying.

Stopping the clock at 1m 46.882secs, Nakagami’s efforts see him land a career-first pole position in his third season of MotoGP competition. It is alsoHonda’s first pole of 2020, the second pole for a 2019-spec machine in 2020 (after Johann Zarco in Brno) and the first by a Japanese rider since Makoto Tamada in 2004.

Franco Morbidelli came close to ruining Nakagami’s day, the Italian falling just 0.063s short of unseating the Honda rider, though both will be nervous to see Alex Rins - winner in Aragon last weekend from 10th on the grid - lift himself onto the front row this time around.

Maverick Vinales was the best placed of the perceived four title contenders, faring marginally better than Fabio Quartararo in sixth, but also substantially better than Joan Mir down in 12th position and Andrea Dovizioso, a dismal 17th after not only missing out on Q2 but proving slow overall anyway.

With all six Ducatis forced to fight for the two remaining Q2 spots in Q1, Johann Zarco got one over his factory-backed counterparts by not only squeezing into the pole-deciding session but going on to place the Avintia GP19 a strong fifth - well up on the next highest Desmo in 14th.

Cal Crutchlow consolidated LCR’s day in seventh, ahead of KTM pairing Miguel Oliveira and Pol Espargaro, while Alex Marquez will have some work to do again to repeat the heroics of the last two races, the Spaniard in a still career-best 10th. Making his first appearance in Q2, Iker Lecuona starts 11th, from Mir.

Outside the front four rows, Miller was left 14th, with Dovizioso 17th, Pecco Bagnaia 18th and Danilo Petrucci 19th.

2020 Teruel MotoGP - Qualifying Results

2020 Teruel MotoGP, Motorland Aragon - QUALIFYING RESULTS
1Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda1m 46.882
2Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas SRT Yamaha1m 46.946
3Alex RinsESPTeam Suzuki Ecstar1m 47.155
4Maverick VinalesESPYamaha Factory Racing1m 47.241
5Johann ZarcoFRAAvintia Ducati1m 47.297
6Fabio QuartararoFRAPetronas SRT Yamaha1m 47.326
7Cal CrutchlowGBRLCR Honda1m 47.377
8Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM Tech 31m 47.509
9Pol EspargaroESPRed Bull KTM Factory1m 47.519
10Alex MarquezESPRepsol Honda Team1m 47.603
11Iker LecuonaESPRed Bull KTM Tech 31m 47.621
12Joan MirESPTeam Suzuki Ecstar1m 47.642
13Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia Racing Gresini1m 47.372
14Jack MillerAUSPramac Ducati1m 47.394
15Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory1m 47.478
16Stefan BradlESPRepsol Honda Team1m 47.585
17Andrea DoviziosoITADucati Team1m 47.747
18Pecco BagnaiaITAPramac Ducati1m 47.759
19Danilo PetrucciITADucati Team1m 47.855
20Tito RabatESPAvintia Ducati1m 48.114
21Bradley SmithGBRAprilia Racing Gresini1m 48.402
WValentino RossiITAYamaha Factory Racing