Lorenzo takes first pole for Ducati in Barcelona

Jorge Lorenzo pic: MotoGP.com

Jorge Lorenzo has edged Marc Marquez in qualifying for the Catalan MotoGP to take his first pole for Ducati.

The achievement comes a fortnight after the Spaniard’s first win in red, but also 10 days after his move to Honda next year was announced.

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

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev
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

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