Australian Jack Miller’s huge gamble to switch to slicks on a drying track certainly paid off, as he snatched his first ever Premier Class pole position off Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa at the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina.
Miller also becomes the first ever Ducati Independent Team rider to secure pole position.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco was 0.212 seconds off the Australian’s time to put himself third on the grid and impress once again, with the Frenchman now having taken an incredible six front row starts in a row.
Mixed weather conditions with cold temperatures and intermittent rain showers on day 2 of the Grand Prix of Argentina saw Pedrosa setting the second fastest lap time on a wet-but-drying Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo track, the Repsol Honda rider earning a brilliant front row start for tomorrow’s race.
Teammate and reigning MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez was the quickest rider in FP3 and FP4 but had to settle for a second-row start following a hectic qualifying session which saw him finishing in sixth place.
The Spaniard went for slicks for his 2nd run in Q2 but pitted back to wets after discovering it’s not worth the risk as the race is much more important for a great result.
However, Marquez’s blistering pace in dry and wet conditions alike makes him confident for Sunday’s MotoGP race, regardless of the weather conditions.
Q1 graduate Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, who was the early pace setting in Q2 after eclipsing the Ducatis – heads up the third row of the grid in seventh.
Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso starts eighth on the grid after progressing through from Q1, with Maverick Viñales lining up alongside the Italian in ninth.
After looking strong all weekend, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) will aim to pick off some of the riders in front of him on Sunday when he shoots from tenth.
Valentino Rossi couldn’t give the Termas de Rio Hondo grandstands a dream Saturday as he qualified in P11 – 0.022 back from Crutchlow. Andrea Iannone of Team Suzuki Ecstar will start from P12.