Catalunya Grand Prix, Qualifying roundup: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) took a stunning pole position in the heat haze of the Catalan GP, storming clear of the field by three tenths to return to the top for the second time this year. Compatriot Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) shot into second for his first front row start in red – after also proving second fastest on Friday – as two of the home heroes led the charge. Third was an incredible front row for Mugello podium finisher Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing), as the Italian kept his momentum from a stunning home race last time out.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was one of the key headline makers, as the reigning Champion will head the second row but suffered a spate of crashes on Saturday. His final fall in Q2 took him out of contention for pole, with Marquez looking to wipe the slate clean overnight before trying to hunt down the win.
The sun shone more on Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) in fifth as his impressive pace from the morning continued into Q2, with another home hero just behind him in sixth – Reale Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera.
Mugello winner Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) heads up row three, ahead of Q1 graduates Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) after a tough day for the Yamahas.
Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) completed the top ten and was another multiple crasher on Saturday – rider ok – with Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) and Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in P11 and P12 respectively.
The headlines were also thick and fast in Q1, as nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) missed the cut only marginally to start P13, ahead of rookie sensation Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) lines up P17 and was another crasher.
The Catalan GP has already shown a fair share of drama, and the lights haven’t even gone out for the race yet. See how the story concludes on Sunday at 14:00 (GMT +2).
Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) has taken a second scorching pole of the year – and second this season on home turf – in the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, a tenth clear of Mugello winner Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) in second. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) lines up in P3, half a second behind the two pacesetters in the hot Saturday afternoon sun in Barcelona to bounce back in style from a tough home GP last time out.
Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) heads up the second row after shooting up the timesheets in the latter stages as he gets back on track after a DNF through no fault of his own in Italy, ahead of fellow title hopeful Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) in fifth. Championship leader Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), who also crashed on Friday, was sixth quickest.
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was back in the battle in sixth for the new KTM chassis, ahead of home superstar rookie Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), who keeps some good momentum going from Italy. Axel Pons (RW Racing GP) is another home hero and lines up in P9, with compatriot Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team) another to impress as he locked out the top ten.
Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) returns to action after missing Mugello in eleventh, ahead of Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) in P12 as quickest Suter. Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing), Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) and Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) completed the fastest fifteen, with Quartararo also a crasher in the session.
12:20 (GMT +2) is go time for Moto2™, as Marquez shoots for his second home win of the year.
After a frenetic last dash for the line in Moto3™ qualifying, it’s home hero Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) who will be starting from pole position in the Catalan GP – with an incredible margin over the field of over six tenths. It’s the fifth time the Spaniard has topped the timesheets in qualifying this season.
Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) looked set for pole until the final minutes but was pushed down to second – the same as his position in the Championship – ahead of first time podium finisher in Mugello Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing) in third. Canet, however, was also given a three-place grid penalty and will therefore drop off the front row.
Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) was fourth fastest but moves onto the front row, ahead of Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) and Platinum Bay Real Estate rider Marcos Ramirez, who showed more impressive pace after a real step forward this season.
Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) stayed at the sharp end in seventh, ahead of rostrum finisher last time out Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3).
Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) kept his impressive momentum going in qualifying to cross the line ninth fastest, with Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completing the top ten.
Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) was P11, ahead of a solid qualifying position for Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Aspar Mahindra Moto3) to get back towards the front in P12 for the Indian manufacturer.
Tony Arbolino (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was thirteenth fastest but will start further back following a 12-place grid penalty for riding slowly on Friday, with compatriot Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) P14 in qualifying but also penalised – in his case by three places. Fifteenth fastest was Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo).
The lights go out at 11:00 (GMT +2) on Sunday as the lightweight runners go racing.