Aleix Espargaro wants to “keep making history” after claiming Aprilia’s first MotoGP pole position in Argentina on Saturday.
Despite a stunning late lap for Jorge Martin in the Pramac Ducati to break the 1:38 mark at Termas, the Spanish veteran went even quicker to go five thousandths of a second from Marc Marquez’s all-time lap record set in 2014.
The 32-year-old was not the only Aprilia who impressed, with Maverick Vinales claiming fifth spot in qualifying, his best since joining the team at Aragon in 2021.
Current MotoGP championship leader Enea Bastianini missed out on Q2 but will still start from 12th on the grid, with 11th-placed Jack Miller given a three-spot grid penalty for disturbing reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo’s qualifying lap.
In claiming a maiden pole for Aprilia, though, Espargaro became the first-ever rider to claim three MotoGP pole positions with three different manufacturers.
“I’m happy and satisfied, but sincerely, for the rider it’s nice to be fast on Saturday because the feeling you get on that lap is always special,” Espargaro said afterwards.
“It’s great to feel that adrenaline and speed, but what would really make me happy is if tomorrow I can achieve a good result and keep making history for Aprilia.”
Since joining MotoGP in 2015, Aprilia’s only other top three result also came via Espargaro, at Silverstone in 2021.
The older Espargaro sibling – Repsol Honda rider Pol qualified in fourth – could not hide his joy with that in mind, despite the race still to come on Sunday.
“This is just Saturday. More than for me, I’m happy for Aprilia. When you, for example, if Jorge [Martin] makes a pole position then they [Pramac] are normal in their garage because he gets pole positions every weekend.
“But for Aprilia when you do the first pole and arrive in the garage and see the face of everyone there, it’s completely another story.
“Working six years on this project, and these small moments of joy and happiness is fantastic.”
1. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 1:37.688
2. Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) +0.151s
3. Luca Marini (Mooney Ducati) +0.431
4. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +0.477
5. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +0.508
6. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Yamaha) +0.593
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.767
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.828
9. Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) +0.849
10. Takami Nakagami (LCR Honda) +0.888
11. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +1.244
12. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Ducati) 1:38.566 (Q1)