Marquez continues Argentina MotoGP pole streak

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 9th April, 2017 - 4:43am

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Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez has taken pole position in wet conditions, while Karel Abraham will sensationally line up in the middle of the front row in Argentina.

Cal Crutchlow qualified third, while both factory Ducatis missed Q2.

Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso did face stiff competition in the first 15-minute session of qualifying, with Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa, and impressive rookie Johann Zarco joining them after rain in FP3 denied those riders a chance to improve on poor Friday showings.

The rain continued when Q1 got underway at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, but eased through the session.

Rossi languished in ninth when the chequered flag flew, but then went quickest.

Pedrosa would end up topping the session, however, bumping Dovizioso in the process.

In Q2, Marquez led Loris Baz and Crutchlow at the end of the first runs, while Abraham was seventh.

With only very light drizzle now falling, and some dry lines emerging, Andrea Iannone (Suzuki) swapped to slicks for his second run, but didn’t bother trying to set a lap before reverting to his wet bike.

Pedrosa and then Danilo Petrucci had turns in second position before Abraham jumped onto the front row.

Meanwhile, Marquez had improved on his own best again, the Repsol Honda rider maintaining a perfect qualifying record in Argentina since the grand prix returned to the calendar in 2014.

For the unfancied Abraham and his 2015-spec Ducati, the result represents his first front row start in MotoGP, having returned to grand prix motorcycle racing with the Aspar team after a year in World Superbikes.

“It feels just amazing, it feels just great,” said Abraham.

“Yesterday we had a good result (fourth in combined practice) and I knew it would be really, really difficult today to prove that we can be on the top and it will be even harder tomorrow but our targets for the race did not change.

“We know what we want and what we need to achieve and we’ll work for that.”

Crutchlow joins the Spaniard and the Czech at the head of the grid after a late effort on his LCR Honda.

Petrucci (Pramac Ducati), Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), and Round 1 winner Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha) form the second row.

The remainder of the top 10 is Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), Aleix Espargaro (Gresini Aprilia), Baz (Avintia Ducati), and the second Aspar Ducati of Alvaro Bautista.

Jack Miller qualified 17th for Marc VDS Honda.

The 25-lap Argentina Grand Prix gets underway at 0500 AEST on Monday.

Qualifying: Argentina Grand Prix

Pos Rider Nation Team Bike Time Gap 1st/Prev
1 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’47.512
2 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 1’48.275 0.763 / 0.763
3 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda 1’48.278 0.766 / 0.003
4 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati 1’48.908 1.396 / 0.630
5 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’49.008 1.496 / 0.100
6 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1’49.218 1.706 / 0.210
7 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1’49.272 1.760 / 0.054
8 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1’49.323 1.811 / 0.051
9 Loris BAZ FRA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1’49.630 2.118 / 0.307
10 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 1’49.724 2.212 / 0.094
11 Jonas FOLGER GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1’49.825 2.313 / 0.101
12 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1’50.725 3.213 / 0.900
13 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1’49.488 Q1 / Q1
14 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1’49.916 Q1 / 0.428
15 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati 1’50.048 Q1 / 0.132
16 Jorge LORENZO SPA Ducati Team Ducati 1’50.310 Q1 / 0.262
17 Jack MILLER AUS EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1’50.319 Q1 / 0.009
18 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1’50.673 Q1 / 0.354
19 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1’50.676 Q1 / 0.003
20 Tito RABAT SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1’50.910 Q1 / 0.234
21 Hector BARBERA SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1’51.058 Q1 / 0.148
22 Sam LOWES GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1’51.199 Q1 / 0.141
23 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1’52.340 Q1 / 1.141