Marc Marquez has stormed to his sixth pole position of the season after a dominating display at the MotorLand Aragon Circuit to finish six tenths ahead of Maverick Viñales and Jorge Lorenzo who completed the front row in P2 and P3 respectively ahead of the race on Sunday on their home turf.
Marquez, who has been on fire this weekend finishing in the top two in all free practice sessions and was the nailed on favorite to take pole position at his home Grand Prix, Certainly lived up to this expectation after only his first flying lap, the Spaniard set the track alight with a 1:47.117s which was was some 0.7s faster than his previous best set during Free Practice 3. While the Honda rider was unable to improve, his second and third-best laps were still significantly faster than many of his other rivals. “At this circuit normally my speed is really good, I always feel good,” said Marquez. “I am very happy with the pace but there is a possibility of rain so we will have to wait and see”
Vinales, who has really stepped up to the mark this season putting in fantastic performances throughout this season, replicated his form during the qualifying session. After a timid first run the Team Suzuki Ecstar rider really showed his class in the second run, putting in a 1m 47.748s to get within six tenths of pole man Marquez and qualify in P2 and this will give him a great chance of achieving a podium or maybe even replicating his Silverstone success. ” I think we did a very good lap and I feel comfortable with our pace. Tomorrow we will put in 100% from the start, we will give it our best shot and to try to bring Suzuki another podium result. This isn’t the best track for us with a lot of slow corners, but I’m feeling good on the bike.”
Jorge Lorenzo made it an all Spanish front row after the reigning World Champion produced a stunning final lap to bump Andrea Dovizioso back to the second row. “The Honda is working really well and Marc can achieve an unbelievable level. For us it’s difficult because Michelin have brought hard tyres here, in the front and rear, and I can’t keep good corner speed – I go wide. But with a new soft rear tyre we are quite competitive and can get on the first row. Maybe tomorrow we can’t use this tyre however, because especially on the right side it’s getting destroyed very quickly – so let’s find a better balance tomorrow and see if we can improve the long run pace.”
Dovizioso heads up row two in P4 and the Italian will be happy with this result considering how much the Ducati has struggled this weekend. Top Independent man Cal Cruthlow will be content with his p5 on the grid despite a crash on his final flying lap, the Brit will be hoping to continue his good form and hopefully battle for a place on the podium. Yamaha and Championship contender Valentino Rossi seemed to struggle to put in a fast lap time with The “Doctor” having to settle for P6 on the grid despite proving fastest Yamaha on Friday.
Misano race winner Dani Pedrosa will start from P7 after a late crash hampered the Repsol Honda’s man chances of moving up any further on the grid. Second Suzuki rider Aleix Espargaro qualified in P8 with the Pramac Ducati duo of Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding completing the top ten in P9 and P10 respectively. Pol Espargaro and Stefan Bradl completed the Q2 graduates in P12.
Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera heads up the fifth row with Alvaro Bautista and Yonny Hernandez on the Aspar Ducati, while Eugene Laverty was 16th fastest on the second of the Aspar machines. Irishman Laverty leads row six ahead of Michele Pirro on the factory Ducati and Tito Rabat . American Nicky Hayden, who replaces the injured Jack Miller at Aragon, was 19th fastest ahead of Loris Baz and British rider Alex Lowes on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha.
Lowes injured his foot following a spill in FP3 and did not compete in the afternoon. The World Superbike rider is due to be assessed ahead of the race on Sunday morning.
The MotoGP race takes place tommorow, 14:00 local time at MotorLand Aragon with Marc Marquez looking to extend his Championship Lead over contender Valentino Rossi.
Image Via: Motorsport.com