Dani Pedrosa ended Marc Marquez’s perfect start to the MotoGP as he secured pole position for Spain’s Grand Prix de Catalunya.
The Honda rider pipped Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo to the all important pole on home soil by just 0.115s, while Marquez suffered a rare crash in the latter stages, leaving him third on the grid.
Pedrosa surged to the top of the timesheets with just four minutes of the session remaining after posting a 1.40.985s effort.
Marquez had lit up the timing screens in the early part of qualifying and looked likely to challenge for an unprecedented seventh consecutive pole position before drama struck.
The championship leader switched bikes for his second run during which Pedrosa leapt into provisional pole.
As a result, Marquez dived into the pits to return to his #1 machine for one last effort. However during his final flying lap he lost control at Turn 1.
The 21-year-old escaped injury but the fall saw him secure third just 0.035s behind Lorenzo, who slipped into second in the dying minutes.
LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl was fourth fastest ahead of Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Forward Yamaha’s Aleix Espargaro.
Andrea Dovizioso will line up in seventh for Ducati alongside Monster Yamaha’s Bradley Smith and Pramac Ducati’s Yonny Hernandez.
Pol Espargaro completed the top 10 while Australia’s Broc Parkes was 19th quickest on the Paul Bird Motorsport Aprilia.
Meanwhile, rising Aussie motorcycle star Jack Miller will start the seventh round of the Moto3 season from ninth on the grid after a difficult qualifying session.
The 19-year-old Queenslander believes a tweak made to his Red Bull KTM cost him the chance to cahllenge for pole position, which was secured by Alex Marquez. However, the championship leader remains confident he can shine in Sunday’s race.
“We made a big change to the setup between free practice this morning and qualifying, which worked very well,” said Miller.
“I went out on used tyres and noticed an improvement right away. In the second stint I put new tyres on and that also went well, although we tried to make a tweak before the final attempt at pole which didn’t go as well as we had expected.
“It was something I wanted to try, anyway, and we still have a very good setup, so we’re not worried.
“The gap between us and Marquez is a little large, as he had a very good flying lap, but for the race I’m not stressing out; I think there will be a large group and that things will develop like at previous races.”
MotoGP Grand Prix de Catalunya Qualifying Results
|4||Stefan Bradl||LCR Honda||1m41.220s||+0.235s|
|6||Aleix Espargaro||Forward Yamaha||1m41.308s||+0.323s|
|8||Bradley Smith||Tech 3 Yamaha||1m41.491s||+0.506s|
|9||Yonny Hernandez||Pramac Ducati||1m41.671s||+0.686s|
|10||Pol Espargaro||Tech 3 Yamaha||1m41.677s||+0.692s|
|11||Andrea Iannone||Pramac Ducati||1m41.751s||+0.766s|
|12||Alvaro Bautista||Gresini Honda||1m42.024s||+1.039s|
|14||Scott Redding||Gresini Honda||1m42.730s||Q1|
|16||Nicky Hayden||Aspar Honda||1m43.043s||Q1|
|17||Colin Edwards||Forward Yamaha||1m43.226s||Q1|
|18||Karel Abraham||Cardion Honda||1m43.360s||Q1|
|19||Broc Parkes||PBM Aprilia||1m43.530s||Q1|
|20||Hiroshi Aoyama||Aspar Honda||1m43.564s||Q1|
|21||Michael Laverty||PBM Aprilia||1m43.737s||Q1|
|22||Hector Barbera||Avintia FTR-Kawasaki||1m44.115s||Q1|
|23||Mike di Meglio||Avintia FTR-Kawasaki||1m45.012s||Q1|
|24||Michel Fabrizio||Ioda Aprilia||1m46.214s||Q1|