Japan's Takaaki Nakagami Takes First MotoGP Pole at Teruel Grand Prix

Takaaki Nakagami (Photo Credit: MotoGP)

Takaaki Nakagami (Photo Credit: MotoGP)

Takaaki Nakagami earned his first MotoGP pole position at the Teruel Grand Prix on Saturday.

For the first time since Makoto Tamada in Valencia 2004, a Japanese rider will start a MotoGP race from pole position after Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) put up a mesmerising Q2 MotorLand Aragon display at the Teruel Grand Prix. The HRC star set a 1:46.882 to beat Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) by 0.063 seconds, as Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) earns his first front row start of the season in P3.

Championship leader Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) claimed a disappointing P12 in Q2 as Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) start from Row 2, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) will launch from P17.

In yet another episode of an unpredictable season, Nakagami pushed his Honda to the fastest lap and will start Sunday’s race ahead of Franco Morbidelli and lex Rins on the front row.

It was Nakagami's first pole in his third season in the top category.

Mir leads Fabio Quartararo by six points and Maverick Viales by 12 points atop the standings after 10 of 14 races of this season that was shortened due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Viales will start from fourth, Quartararo from sixth, and Mir from 12th.

The title race has been wide open all season since the injury to defending champion Marc Marquez that has kept him from competing.

Sunday’s race is the second straight held at Alcaiz in northeast Spain. Rins won last weekend’s Aragn GP.

Top 10:

1. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) - 1:46.882

2. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.063

3. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.273

4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.359

5. Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) + 0.415

6. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.444

7. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) + 0.495

8. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.627

9. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.637

10. Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.721

All the action from the MotoGP Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel will be LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport HD with the Main race on Sunday, October 25, 2020, from 3:35 PM IST. The same will also be streamed LIVE on Discovery Plus application on Sunday, October 25, 2020, 4:55 PM IST.

(With inputs from AP)

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