Pedrosa pounces as Marquez falls in Barcelona

Dani Pedrosa secures pole in Catalunya

Dani Pedrosa secures pole in Catalunya

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

Position Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m40.985s
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m41.100s +0.115s
3 Marc Marquez Honda 1m41.135s +0.150s
4 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m41.220s +0.235s
5 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m41.290s +0.305s
6 Aleix Espargaro Forward Yamaha 1m41.308s +0.323s
7 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m41.337s +0.352s
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
13 Cal Crutchlow Ducati 1m42.578s Q1
14 Scott Redding Gresini Honda 1m42.730s Q1
15 Michele Pirro Ducati 1m42.955s 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

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