Marquez Continues Roll With Aragon Pole
ALCANIZ, Spain – Championship leader Marc Marquez earned his seventh pole position of the MotoGP season Saturday, edging out Jorge Lorenzo by one hundredth of a second at MotorLand Aragon.
Last year’s winner Dani Pedrosa will start third, with Valentino Rossi and Stefan Bradl completing the top five.
Marquez’s seventh pole and third in succession came following a tight battle in north-eastern Spain, with MotorLand Aragón being one of seven anti-clockwise circuits on the current calendar. Lorenzo had topped the time sheets on Friday morning before Marquez moved ahead, although – following a damp third session – it was Pedrosa who led the way in final practice ahead of qualifying.
The record pole time was delivered by Marquez in the form of 1:47.804, with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo preventing a Repsol Honda Team qualifying one-two. This means the top three on the grid will start in championship order, with Marquez holding a 34-point advantage over both of his rivals. Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi also saw his grid place match his position in the championship, being demoted from second to fourth in the final moments, ahead of Honda satellite riders Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini).
Struggling for top speed on Aragón’s kilometre-long back straight, Cal Crutchlow could muster no more than seventh place while Monster Yamaha Tech3 teammate Bradley Smith qualified eighth and only two tenths of a second slower, having progressed from Q1 after being denied the chance of a direct Q2 position due chiefly to track conditions in third practice. Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro (the leading CRT runner) completed the top ten