Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro entered Q2 and clocked the 11th fastest lap in Qualification for the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana. The Spaniard will tackle the nineteenth race of the season from a slot on the fourth row of the grid.
For the eighteenth consecutive year the largely flat and compact Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, eastern Spain, hosted the finale of MotoGP. The nineteenth round of 2019 was also the fourth time the series was being entertained in Spain but despite sunny skies moderate temperatures meant some challenging track conditions.
Pol Espargaro survived a hair-raising slide on his principal time attack in Q1. At almost 180kmph through Turn 10 he controlled the ‘moment’ and edged his way into Q2; amazingly only five thousandths of a second behind Alex Rins. In the following session – to determine the final top twelve ranking of the season – Espargaro rose as high as 6th on the timing screens and ended the afternoon 11th.
Teammate Mika Kallio – the man that began KTM’s MotoGP story with a wildcard appearance at the 2016 edition of Valencian Grand Prix – is 17th on the grid and equalled his best qualifying ranking since joining the race team six events ago.
Red Bull KTM Tech3 debutant Iker Lecuona progressed in speed and confidence in every outing with the KTM RC16. The 19 year old class rookie was satisfied with 19th spot; less than two seconds from Fabio Quartararo’s pole position chrono and ahead of teammate Hafizh Syahrin who placed 22nd.
The Moto3 race will open the Grand Prix at 11.00 Sunday morning CET. The 27 laps (108km distance) of MotoGP begins at 14.00.