Ducati Corse’s outgoing rider Jorge Lorenzo outqualified teammate Andrea Dovizioso to snatch pole position for Sunday’s MotoGP race in Aragon while reigning world champion Marc Marquez got himself into the front row courtesy of his first flying lap at the start of Q2 with a time of 1:46.960. Briton Cal Crutchlow momentarily got himself into front row in 3rd behind Lorenzo via his first flying lap but was later demoted to 4th overall as the 2 Ducati riders had outpaced Marquez’s provisional lap time at the closing stages.
Marquez was the fastest man after the first runs. Lorenzo had the pace to challenge Marquez, but his Desmosedici GP18 was squirrely coming out of the final corner. After a mid-session lull, and second laps, Marquez was still leading the field but he lost his time by running wide at the ‘bus stop’ section of the track leaving him open to both Lorenzo and Dovizioso.
With the chequered flag out, Dovizioso initially went top with a 1:46.895. However, his lead lasted just ten seconds as his factory Ducati teammate then came through and went top with a 1:46.881. Lorenzo’s lap was just slower than Marquez’ through the sectors, but the Ducati man made it up in the final sector. It was Lorenzo’s 3rd pole position in a row and it is the first time he has achieved that since 2012 when he managed this in Aragon, Motegi and Sepang.
Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone will start from the middle of the front row in 5th with Dani Pedrosa rounding out the 2nd row. Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci will start from the head of the 3rd row just ahead of Angel Nieto Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista and Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins. Jack Miller tops the 4th row with Q1 successes Maverick Vinales and Taka Nakagami only managing 11th and 12th respectively.
It was another disastrous Saturday afternoon for Valentino Rossi as the Italian found himself all the way down in 18th position, ending over eight-tenths behind Vinales who topped the first qualifying session. The Movistar Yamaha rider completed just one timed lap in the session while he struggled for pace throughout practice in hot conditions. Rossi appeared to be hunting a tow for his final qualifying lap in Q1 but failed to put a lap together to leave his best effort.
Another rider feeling the Yamaha frustrations is Johann Zarco who wrestled his Tech 3 machine to 14th on the grid, suffering two scary moments pushing the limits on his final lap. With Aprilia’s Alex Espargaro slotting into 15th ahead of Red Bull KTM’s Bradley Smith, who looked to have been held up on his fastest qualifying lap by touring riders, Karel Abraham has also qualified ahead of Rossi with the Angel Nieto Ducati rider taking 17th in front of the nine-time world champion. Avintia Ducati stand-in rider Jordi Torres lines up 23rd for his MotoGP debut as replacement rider for the injured Tito Rabat, while Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro missed qualifying after being ruled out by a broken collarbone sustained in an FP3 crash at the Spanish track.