Quartararo didn’t expect Morbidelli’s pole pace

Quartararo has outqualified Morbidelli six times this season and managed pole twice, but had to play second-best to his ‘A-spec-mounted’ Yamaha rival Morbidelli in qualifying at Catalunya.

Morbidelli produced the first sub 1m39s lap of the Catalan GP weekend on his final effort in Q2 to snatch his maiden MotoGP pole with a 1m38.798s, while Quartararo could only managed a 1m39.008s in second.

“I’m really happy because at the end most important thing is to be on the front row,” Quartararo said of his Saturday.

“We achieved our goal, let’s say. Today Franco was really fast. I expected him to be fast in qualifying, but not that much.

“At the end, I’m so happy about second position and our pace is good so I’m happy about our day.”

Morbidelli last outqualified Quartararo at the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, when he beat him to second before going on to win his first race.

Conceding “it’s always difficult” to beat the Frenchman in qualifying, Morbidelli was happy to show he was the best on “pure speed”.

“It is great, it feels great to be first,” Morbidelli said of his first MotoGP pole. “Qualifying is pure speed and I was really happy to see today I was the fastest in pure speed.

“It’s always difficult to beat Fabio on a hot lap, so I’m very happy about the lap this I did in qualifying. I was feeling…

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