Five MotoGP riders that shocked us during MotoGP qualifying at Silverstone | MotoGP

A heavy crash in FP4 for one of the 2022 MotoGP title favourites seemed to swing the balance of play back into his rivals hands heading into Q2, however, a stunning effort in qualifying limited the damage.

Here’s the rider we’re talking about and why he stole the show despite qualifying sixth.

Aleix Espargaro – 6th

A monster highside during the early stages of FP4, an accident which saw him crash at over 110mph, left Espargaro in deep, deep trouble.

Unable to get to his feet before being stretchered away, it wasn’t until after medical checks and him returning to his garage that Espargaro managed to walk under his own power.

And after starting Q2 over 1.6 seconds down on Quartararo, the final time attack run wasn’t expected to see a big change.

But in heroic fashion Espargaro managed to not only be competitive, but momentarily go fastest thanks to a new all-time lap record, much to the delight and applause from the British crowd.

Espargaro was the first rider to set a sub 1m 58s lap around the British circuit before eventually finishing in sixth place – two tenths down on pole man Johann Zarco. 

Maverick Vinales – 2nd

Like his team-mate Espargaro, Maverick Vinales was one of the stars of qualifying, although for very different reasons.

Often struggling to replicate his race performances in qualifying, Vinales not only secured his first-ever front row for Aprilia, but the former Yamaha rider came within a tenth of a first pole in over a year. 

After securing his first podium with Aprilia in Assen, expect Vinales to be equally as strong come tomorrow’s British Grand Prix.

Vinales has again shown podium pace all weekend and could find himself in a scenario where he leads Aprilia’s charge for victory, depending of course on how well Espargaro feels during Sunday’s race.

Remy Gardner – 16th

Although P16 might not look like a glamorous finishing position, qualifying at Silverstone was one of the first occasions this season where Gardner showed consistent speed and was close to both factory KTM riders.

It wasn’t just one lap where Gardner was strong either, as the reigning Moto2 champion was fifth in Q1 after the opening time attack run. 

Fighting to stay at Tech 3 KTM and in MotoGP, performances like this where Gardner’s potential was clearly on show can only be good for his premier class future. 

Who failed to deliver in Silverstone MotoGP qualifying?

Alex Rins/Joan Mir – 11th and 12th 

After a very strong Friday where pace over one lap and race distance appeared strong, Suzuki seemed to go backwards as Saturday developed.

Both riders narrowly squeezed into the top ten in FP3 but were unable to make much of an impact during Q2.

Rins finished half a second off Zarco, while Mir was seven tenths off pole position. A good result can’t be ruled out on Sunday, however, Suzuki were expected to do a lot more in what was ultimately a disappointing qualifying session. 

Pol Espargaro – 19th

On pole this time last year, Pol Espargaro endured a nightmare British MotoGP qualifying. 

Struggling for pace throughout the weekend, Honda and Espargaro appear destined for another lacklustre Grand Prix, of which there have been too many this season. 

Espargaro’s time of 1:59.367s was close to eight tenths off what Enea Bastianini managed in order to advance, while it was also 1.6 seconds off Zarco’s pole lap.

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