MONTMELÓ, Spain (AP) — MotoGP points leader Fabio Quartararo set the fastest lap in qualifying for the Catalonia Grand Prix on Saturday, becoming the first rider in seven years to win five consecutive pole positions.
The Frenchman steered his Yamaha bike through a flying lap in 1 minute, 38.853 seconds on the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit. Jack Miller clocked the second-fastest time despite a crash that he emerged from unscathed. Johann Zarco was third.
The 22-year-old Quartararo leads the competition after six races with 105 points, followed by Zarco with 81.
“We know that we still have some margin for improvement, but I am a thrilled to be on pole once again,” Quartararo said.
Quartararo previously took pole at the Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian races. The last rider to make it five-of-five in qualifying was former champion Marc Márquez in 2014.
Six-time former MotoGP champion Márquez continued to struggle after returning from a long injury layoff. He failed to make the cut for the final qualifying session of the top 10 riders. He will start Sunday’s race from 13th on the grid.
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