Jorge Lorenzo has edged Marc Marquez in qualifying for the Catalan MotoGP to take his first pole for Ducati.
Marquez came from Qualifying 1 to earn his place in the middle of the front row, while Andrea Dovizioso on the other Ducati Team entry will be on his outside.
Lorenzo was favoured to take pole having set the pace in practice but returned to his garage in a livid mood after going third-fastest in his first qualifying run.
The three-time premier class world champion nevertheless proceeded to lay down a 1:38.680s on his next flyer which would not be bettered.
He explained afterwards that the reason for his anger was a tyre issue which threatened his chances of topping qualifying.
“I was a little bit disappointed with the first tyre because we have a great weekend and this tyre doesn’t work, or didn’t get the temperature up enough, but it didn’t have grip and I couldn’t push,” said Lorenzo.
“I needed to keep the calm because it was very easy to crash with no grip, so I say, ‘Okay Jorge, wait for the second tyre and then push, push more,’ and this is what happened.
“When I put the second tyre on, (it had) much more grip, and I could make almost a perfect lap and push a lot in the middle of the corner to release the brake very soon, to make a very high corner speed.
“I’m very happy, first pole position with Ducati, let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
Marquez was only 11th after the first three free practice sessions and he went into Q1 for the second time in his career but comfortably topped that 15-minute hit-out.
The Repsol Honda rider was fastest at the midway point of Qualifying 2 before improving to a 1:38.746s.
He was an outside chance to reclaim top spot from his future team-mate after the chequered flag, having gone less than a tenth slower to the third sector, but came up on Danilo Petrucci and had to give up the lap.
Dovizioso also threatened to steal pole but couldn’t quite go on with two promising laps, although the best of those had him second until Lorenzo set what would be the fastest of the weekend.
Row 2 will be Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha), Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar), and Petrucci (Pramac Ducati).
On Row 3 are Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), Johann Zarco (Tech3 Yamaha), and Tito Rabat (Avintia Ducati).
Cal Crutchlow qualified 10th-fastest despite he and his LCR Honda ending the session in the gravel at Turn 13.
Dani Pedrosa took 11th on his Repsol Honda and rookie Takaaki Nakagami will start from 12th having made Q2 for the first time.
The Japanese LCR Honda rider’s late effort bumped Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati) out of the second stanza by only 0.069s and the Australian therefore qualified 13th.
Round 7 will be decided over 24 laps on Sunday night at 2200 AEST.
Qualifying: Catalan MotoGP
|1||99||Jorge LORENZO||ESP||Ducati Team||Ducati||1:38.680|
|2||93||Marc MARQUEZ||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1:38.746||0.066 / 0.066|
|3||04||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1:38.923||0.243 / 0.177|
|4||25||Maverick VIÑALES||ESP||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:39.145||0.465 / 0.222|
|5||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:39.148||0.468 / 0.003|
|6||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Alma Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:39.178||0.498 / 0.030|
|7||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:39.266||0.586 / 0.088|
|8||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1:39.331||0.651 / 0.065|
|9||53||Tito RABAT||ESP||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1:39.504||0.824 / 0.173|
|10||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||1:39.556||0.876 / 0.052|
|11||26||Dani PEDROSA||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1:39.695||1.015 / 0.139|
|12||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||1:39.888||1.208 / 0.193|
|13||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Alma Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:39.732||Q1 / Q1|
|14||55||Hafizh SYAHRIN||MAL||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1:39.879||Q1 / 0.147|
|15||42||Alex RINS||ESP||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:39.918||Q1 / 0.039|
|16||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||ESP||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:40.010||Q1 / 0.092|
|17||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:40.019||Q1 / 0.009|
|18||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1:40.058||Q1 / 0.039|
|19||44||Pol ESPARGARO||ESP||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:40.178||Q1 / 0.120|
|20||45||Scott REDDING||GBR||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:40.300||Q1 / 0.122|
|21||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Angel Nieto Team||Ducati||1:40.449||Q1 / 0.149|
|22||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||ESP||Angel Nieto Team||Ducati||1:40.524||Q1 / 0.075|
|23||36||Mika KALLIO||FIN||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:40.572||Q1 / 0.048|
|24||12||Thomas LUTHI||SUI||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1:40.590||Q1 / 0.018|
|25||50||Sylvain GUINTOLI||FRA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:40.834||Q1 / 0.244|
|26||10||Xavier SIMEON||BEL||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1:41.369||Q1 / 0.535|