Motorcycling-Pol Espargaro wins pole with Quartararo third-fastest at Silverstone

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(Reuters) -Pol Espargaro claimed his first pole position as a Repsol Honda rider after setting the fastest time in qualifying at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Saturday.

The Spaniard topped qualifying ahead of Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia and Yamaha's world championship leader Fabio Quartararo.

In a dramatic end to qualifying, rookie Jorge Martin of Pramac Racing looked set for pole by a healthy margin of 0.881 seconds but his final lap time was cancelled after it emerged that he cut the chicane at the Vale section of the Silverstone circuit, pushing him down to fourth place.

Martin will be joined on the second row by Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez and the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro.

Marquez left it late to set a qualifying time after exceeding track limits earlier in Q2, while defending world champion Joan Mir of Suzuki set the early benchmark in the session but will only start 11th.

Former world champion Valentino Rossi, who is set to retire at the end of the season, will start eighth on his Petronas Yamaha.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon and Pritha Sarkar)

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