Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati Racing) ahead of Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha) was the last-minute man when he narrowly pushed Miguel Oliveira (KTM) out of the second row. Together with the Portuguese and Frankie Morbidelli, the local hero will start the race as the foremost Spaniard.

Poleman Quartararo with two Ducatis in row one

Saturday promised a lot of excitement and this already in the morning in FP3. There was one main favorite and many other candidates for the top positions, and in the end it was primarily the Yamahas who put themselves in the limelight. First and foremost with Fabio Quartararo, the Monster Energy works driver and World Championship leader who traveled to Italy to win the GP, and who was no match for him. Despite a crash shortly before the end of Q2, Jack Miller was second behind the Frenchman and with him and the Frenchman, the second fast Frenchman will start the race from row one on Sunday. As second in the World Championship, he has an important advantage over Pecco Bagnaia on the third-best Ducati in row 3 for the first laps on Sunday.

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) will be the man to beat on Sunday. At least in the event that it remains dry, which currently seems rather unlikely. For more details on the course of Saturday, see our live blog of the day.

Some increases on Saturday and a convincing old master

Already on Friday the Honda riders Pol Espargaró and Takaaki Nakagami showed themselves to be very strong with places 10 and 11. Clearly ahead of Miguel Oliveira (KTM) and Joan Mir (Suzuki) and thus the two drivers who were on the podium together in Mugello. Even rookie Enea Bastianini on the two-year-old Ducati GP-19 had disgraced the two GP winners from the previous year with 8th place. But the two hit back on Saturday morning and made it into the top ten, making it straight into Q2. This was also achieved by old master Valentino Rossi, who crashed in the second qualifying but then returned to the pits in time to go out again. In the end it was P9 behind Mir and in front of Pol Espargaró on the only Honda in Q2. The most questionable figure in first qualifying was unsurprisingly Marc Marquez.

The stalker on duty – Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda, pictured on the right) in pursuit of Jack Miller, whom he followed twice in first qualifying in order to benefit from his slipstream.

An inglorious Saturday for the 6-time MotoGP world champion
Since his comeback, the former top driver has turned himself more and more into a bogeyman, and he put another crown on his inglorious goings-on in his home country on Saturday. He followed Jack Miller twice in a row in first qualifying to try to benefit from his pace and slipstream. Hardly any observer understands why this has not long been banned in MotoGP, especially when a rider does it as brazenly as the Repsol Honda rider. It was presumably a balancing act when we were able to report in our live blog after the end of Q1 that, in contrast to him, team-mate Pol Espargaró, following behind Marc, managed to secure second place behind Miller and thus qualify for Q2. On the other hand, the two KTM drivers were again strong, with Oliveira in P4 and Miller a row behind in 8th place on the grid. Incidentally, a Belgian made the save of the weekend, see the following picture, actually like in the best times of Marquez.

Barry Baltus (NTS RW Racing GP) in his near-crash in turn 5 on Friday morning in FP1 of Moto2 – even if you can hardly imagine it with this photograph, but the Belgian stayed seated afterwards!

Day two winners and losers in Catalonia

In addition to Marc Marquez, it was above all his brother Alex who again showed a desolate performance. As the penultimate on the starting grid, he may already be one of the losers before the start on Sunday. Unless it rains in the race, and he can build on his strong performance at Le Mans and remains seated. The best rookie was Jorge Martin after his comeback from his horror fall in Portugal and thus one of the clear winners. In the wet it should be particularly difficult for him, even if some drivers like Miller, Petrux and the two Marquez will pray for it. The Pramac Ducati has never driven in the rain at all and so in this case it should be one of the outsiders for Sunday. But what the weather will really be like tomorrow, we will only know shortly after noon on Sunday and only then will points be awarded. That is why the losers on Saturday still have every chance of a significant improvement.

Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in front of sparsely occupied grandstands, after only about a fifth of the usual number of spectators was admitted. The Italian has every chance from row 2 to shine on Sunday, just as he did a year ago at the same venue.

The starting grid for on Sunday in all 3 classes

The biggest surprises in the smaller classes were row 3 of Sam Lowes and even further back Marco Bezzecchi in Moto2. In addition, of course, the penultimate row for World Cup leader Pedro Acosta in the junior class. However, the only 16-year-old has not lost anything in Moto3. He provided proof of this in the second race in Losail when he was the first to see the checkered flag despite starting from the pit lane. Drivers like Schrötter, Lüthi and Dixon, who all expected more from Saturday, are just as dissatisfied with their starting positions.

Circuito de Cataluña

The MotoGP Barcelona statistics from the last 6 years clearly show which riders, led by Fabio Quartararo, have the best record, which is a mortgage for Marc Marquez after the Catalan owed a lot since his comeback.

World Championship stand in all classes after the 6th round at Mugello

Catalonia Grand Prix schedule

Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images (© MotoGP).