Jack Miller crashes, penalty given, position, video

Spaniard Aleix Espargaro secured Aprilia’s first-ever MotoGP pole position at the Argentine Grand Prix on Saturday, while Jack Miller was handed a grid penalty for an incident with Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo.

Espargaro, 32, edged out compatriot Jorge Martin on a Ducati-Pramac bike with Italian Luca Marini of Valentino Rossi’s Ducati-VR46 team filling out the front row for Sunday’s race.

Miller, meanwhile, had a session to forget. He crashed early in the session and was only able to set the 11th fastest time.

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He was later given a three-place grid penalty after he was deemed to have compromised a Quartararo hotlap while sitting close to the racing line.

Speaking to the media after the shoot, Miller said, “I don’t know what more they want from me.

“(After the crash) I swapped bikes, swapped leathers, trying to get comfortable with both…it’s not like I was intentionally trying to embarrass anyone. But little imported.”

Quatararo blamed the incident with Miller for costing him a better grid position.

“Basically he wasn’t really on the line but in this type of corner when you come into fourth very quickly and you have someone not in the middle but basically the racing line, it’s disturbing.

“So for me it’s not fair to be on the racing line like that.”

Meanwhile reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo of France on Yamaha will start on row two after qualifying in sixth place but with Honda’s Pol Espargaro and Maverick Vinales on factory Aprilia second ahead of him in fourth and fifth. squares.

The Italian Francesco Bagnaia, vice-world champion 2021, will start in a modest 14th place on his Ducati.

For Espargaro, whose world championship career began in 2004 in the old 125cc class, it was a first pole since his Suzuki days seven years ago at the Catalunya Grand Prix in Barcelona.

“What I feel, I would say, is pride,” Espargaro said after leading Martin by 0.151sec.

“We worked very, very hard for five years. Today we were the fastest motorcycle in the world. The Suzukis of Alex Rins and Joan Mir and Johann Zarco of Ducati-Pramac make up the third row.

Earlier, Japan’s Takaaki Nakagami set the tone in early testing, just three days after he was initially ruled out by Covid-19.

The Honda-LCR rider took advantage of the race delay caused by the late arrival of key equipment for the teams when a cargo flight was blocked on his marathon route from the last race in Indonesia.

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With scheduled Friday training sessions canceled and all sessions moved to Saturday instead, Nakagami had time to turn in a negative test which cleared the 30-year-old to take up his duties.

He eventually qualified in 10th place for Sunday’s race.

Once the delayed flight finally arrived on its final leg from Kenya on Friday night – even carrying bikes for some teams – the action could begin on the track.

This weekend’s race misses six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez, who last won the Argentine Grand Prix in 2019.

The Spaniard suffered a concussion after a spectacular accident at the Indonesian Grand Prix when his Honda rolled from end to end disintegrating, before landing on his left arm and snapping his helmet on the ground.

Marquez also suffered from double vision at the end of last season. He was replaced for this weekend by Stefan Bradl.

Italy’s Enea Bastianini of the Ducati-Gresini team, who won the season opener in Qatar, leads the championship 30 points ahead of South African KTM rider Brad Binder on 28.

Quartararo is third with 27 points while Portugal’s Miguel Oliveira of KTM, winner in Indonesia, is fourth with 25 points.

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