Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon, Qualifying roundup: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

 In MotoGP, News


Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) will start the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon from P1 after sealing his third consecutive pole position, snatching the honours from teammate Andrea Dovizioso by just 0.014 seconds. It’s Lorenzo’s best qualifying run since 2012 – the last time he took three poles in a row – and only the second time Marquez has missed out on pole at MotorLand in the premier class. The reigning Champion was hot on the heels of the Borgo Panigale duo, however, and he completes the front row a mere 0.065 off the top to set us up for another Sunday classic.
It was third place Marquez who came out the blocks quickest though, immediately clocking a 1:46.974 – the quickest lap of the weekend – on his first flying run, with Lorenzo 0.110 behind and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) on the provisional front row at that stage. But tactics soon came out to play on the final run, with Dovizioso marked by Marquez as the top two in the Championship played cat and mouse. That led to both backing out of flying laps – and sending everything down to the wire.

On that final dash it was Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) leading a freight train of eight riders as Marquez clung onto the tailpipes of Dovi. The two were setting the timing screens alight but heading into Turn 12 the Honda rider slightly out-braked himself – losing a potential pole lap. Meanwhile, despite having to manoeuvre past Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) at the same corner, ‘DesmoDovi’ went fastest by 0.065 to grab provisional pole. Teammate Lorenzo had other ideas, however, heading out slightly later than the rest of the field. The ‘Spartan’ put the hammer down and snatched pole by 0.014 – his fourth of the season and his fourth successive front row in Aragon.

That bumped Dovi to P2 and Marquez to P3, with Crutchlow then unable to make good on a threat to take a front row after a crash at Turn 12 on his final flying lap ended his chances. Fifth on the grid went to Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), his best starting position since the Catalan GP, with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) securing his best qualifying position since Jerez in sixth.

Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) will launch from P7, with Bautista eighth, Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) P9 and Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) P10. Q1 graduate and leading Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) had to settle for the 11th fastest lap, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) going 12th after also coming through Q1.

Q1 made some other headlines, however. Viñales recieved a three-place penalty for an incident with Bradley Smith, with Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) penalised for the same but the Italian’s sanction a loss of six positions. The biggest of them all though was a tough session for Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) as the nine-time World Champion failed to make the cut, set to start 17th after Morbidelli’s penalty has been applied. Waiting for a tow to try and move through didn’t work for the ‘Doctor’ in the tight window of opportunity.

He’ll be gunning hard to make some serious progress on Sunday as Lorenzo, Dovizioso and Marquez continue their titanic battle for the win. Who will master MotorLand? Find out at 14:00 local time (GMT +2).


Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) left it late at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon to secure South Africa’s first intermediate class pole position since 1984 – and his first – but he did just that thanks to a 1:53.149 to displace Friday’s fastest Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP). The German missed out on the honour of a maiden pole by just 0.074, but he’s well-placed to push for that maiden win. Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) took third for his maiden front row in Moto2™.

Despite a crash early in the session, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) set an identical time to Navarro to line up P4 on the grid, with Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) just 0.018 behind the Spaniard in fifth, bringing an end to a run of three straight pole positions for the Italian. Compatriot Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) lines up sixth after threatening the front row throughout, with Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up) seventh. The Frenchman and Binder are the only non-Kalex riders inside the top 12.

Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP 40) earns his best grid slot since the Sachsenring in eighth, with fellow Italians Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) and Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) rounding out the top ten. It was a difficult afternoon for title contender Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo), meanwhile, after the Portuguese rider could only manage P18 in qualifying. Can he fight back and challenge for a podium on Sunday?

Bagnaia vs Oliveira rolls into MotorLand on Sunday, but it’s the latter’s teammate who will launch from pole. Under two-tenths splitting the top six in qualifying sets us up for another closely fought Moto2™ race, and you can watch all the action live from 12:20 local time (GMT +2).


Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) added to his record as the master of Moto3™ qualifying at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon, setting a stunning 1:57.066 to smash the pole position lap record by seven tenths and take his ninth pole of the year. The Championship leader also made a little more history as he broke the lightweight class pole position record of 18 poles, previously held by his Team Manager Fausto Gresini. Martin’s compatriot Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) was his closest challenger, 0.537 back in second but taking his first front row, with Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) showing more good speed at MotorLand to take third.

Marinelli Snipers Team rider Tony Arbolino grabbed fourth to seal his best grid slot since taking pole in Argentina, with Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46) continuing his good form this weekend to start from the middle of the second row. Championship protagonist Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP), meanwhile, led the session before the final flurry of times came in and the Italian slipped down the order slightly, but only to the outside of the second row in sixth.

Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) set the seventh quickest time, but the Italian has a 12-place grid penalty for irresponsible riding in FP3. This means Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) will start from seventh after heading the timesheets by over three tenths early on, with Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) joining him on the third row in eighth and ninth, respectively.

Next up was Adam Norrodin (Petronas Sprinta Racing), with Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) a thousandth slower and Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP) only a further two thousandths in arrears. Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team) completed the fastest fifteen, also split by just two thousandths of a second.

After another close and competitive qualifying session for the lightweight class, we’re set up for a classic on Sunday. Tune in from 11:00 (GMT +2)!

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