Viñales pole, remarkable Rossi on front row

Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales has taken pole position for the Aragon Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi qualified third in a shock return from a broken leg.

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) split the two Movistar Yamahas on the front row, while a late crash consigned Marc Marquez to fifth.

Marquez had clocked the first lap in the 1:47s bracket of the weekend during his first run, but pushed too hard into Turn 12 during his second run and lost the front end of his Repsol Honda.

The defending MotoGP champion had been first placed and on track to go even faster at the time.

That opened the door for Viñales to take pole position, but only after Rossi had held top spot for a handful of seconds.

Rossi had not even been expected to ride in Aragon having broken his right leg in a motocross crash just 23 days earlier.

“I think we did a great job after the injury,” said the Italian.

“I have to thank all the guys that helped me, the doctor that made the surgery Raffaelle (Pascarella) was great, and after every day I work very hard with Carlo (Casabianca, trainer).

“The leg is coming better every day, and since I’ve been on the bike I feel some pain but I can ride quite comfortably.

“I am very happy; (it’s) very important to start from the front row.

“Now we have to try to understand the pace, try to understand also if I’m able to push to the end, but anyway I’m happy.”

Viñales, whose pole was his second straight and fifth of the season, reflected on the fact that he had qualified fastest on home soil for the first time.

“I’m really happy, the bike is working well, the team is working really good,” he said.

“(I’m) so happy to make my first pole in (a) Spanish grand prix; honestly the crowd, the fans are amazing, so I’m so pleased and happy for all of them.”

Row 2 will be Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and the Repsol Hondas of Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

Andrea Dovizioso, second in the championship on a countback, will line up in seventh on his factory Ducati, next to Aleix Espargaro (Gresini Aprilia) and Alvaro Bautista (Aspar Ducati).

Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar), Johann Zarco (Tech 3 Yamaha), and Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM), make up Row 4.

Kallio, a wildcard, was clearly faster than his full-time team-mates Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith, who qualified 14th and 23rd respectively.

Jack Miller (Marc VDS Honda) fell just 0.009s short of passage to Q2 when he was pipped by Zarco in the first part of qualifying, and will start 13th.

Sunday’s 23-lap race starts at 2200 AEST.

Qualifying: Aragon Grand Prix

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev
1 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1’47.635  
2 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Ducati Team Ducati 1’47.735 0.100 / 0.100
3 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1’47.815 0.180 / 0.080
4 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda 1’47.830 0.195 / 0.015
5 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’47.963 0.328 / 0.133
6 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’48.107 0.472 / 0.144
7 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1’48.137 0.502 / 0.030
8 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1’48.159 0.524 / 0.022
9 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 1’48.187 0.552 / 0.028
10 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1’48.289 0.654 / 0.102
11 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1’48.402 0.767 / 0.113
12 36 Mika KALLIO FIN Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1’48.471 0.836 / 0.069
13 43 Jack MILLER AUS EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1’48.307 Q1 / Q1
14 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1’48.387 Q1 / 0.080
15 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 1’48.467 Q1 / 0.080
16 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati 1’48.908 Q1 / 0.441
17 76 Loris BAZ FRA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1’48.911 Q1 / 0.003
18 94 Jonas FOLGER GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1’49.034 Q1 / 0.123
19 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1’49.052 Q1 / 0.018
20 42 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1’49.233 Q1 / 0.181
21 53 Tito RABAT SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1’49.258 Q1 / 0.025
22 45 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati 1’49.288 Q1 / 0.030
23 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1’49.578 Q1 / 0.290
24 22 Sam LOWES GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1’50.769 Q1 / 1.191

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