Almost 18 months after he just missed out on a historic maiden MotoGP World Championship pole position by his ow Petronas SRT Yamaha team-mate Fabio Quartararo in Jerez, Franco Morbideli has finally secured a pole of his own, one that was fittingly achieved by prevailing over his counterpart.

Though qualifying hasn’t been identified as a particular weakness in Morbidelli’s armoury, Quartararo has taken full advantage of the Yamaha’s single lap superiority, almost entirely overshadowing the Italian-Brazilian for the entirety of 2019.

However, while Quartararo still has the edge of the pair for now, it’s evident Morbidelli can go toe-to-toe with him now but not only in race trim - following a win in Misano - but now in qualifying as he twice responded to Quartararo’s efforts to go even quicker.

“It has been a wonderful day for us, we just continued working in a good way following the right paths and we were able to be fast in FP4 and very fast in qualifying, I made a really good lap at the end,“ he said.

Having seen a victory from second on the grid in Brno wane because of tyre issues, with the relatively similar Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya also coming with the added challenge of windy conditions, Morbidelli admits tyre choice will be crucial on Sunday.

“I’ve not yet made a choice. The soft has a good potential but the medium was feeling OK, and the pace was similar so it will be important to choose the right tyre, but I don’t know.

“Soft is an option for the race and we have been trying the soft tyre endurance and we struggle to build up temperature on the soft tyre and it is the one that warms up quicker. We are almost obliged to use the soft front and it is working very well.”



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