Viñales rises to take final MotoGP pole of 2018

Daniel Herrero

Sunday 18th November, 2018 - 1:37am

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Maverick Viñales pic: MotoGP.com

Maverick Viñales has qualified on pole for the season-ending Valencia MotoGP despite coming through Qualifying 1.

Viñales, in doing so, emulated the then-unprecedented feat of Marc Marquez in Thailand four rounds ago.

The lead Movistar Yamaha will be joined on the front row by Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, while Marquez was fifth even after apparently dislocating a shoulder early in the session.

Viñales barely made the cut in Q1 as Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), in his first qualifying session since Aragon, came up 0.042s short of a top two in the opening hit-out.

The #25 Yamaha was only eight after the first runs of Q2 but went to the top with a 1:31.359s at the start of his second run and then improved to a 1:31.312s.

The former effort proved fast enough, although both Rins and Dovizioso did threaten to steal pole after the chequered flag.

Neither improved on those respective laps in particular, although the latter was only 0.080s away from Viñales’ benchmark at the end of the session.

Danilo Petrucci looked like he might see out his time at Pramac Ducati with a maiden pole but it was not to be and he qualified fourth.

Marquez lost the front of his Repsol Honda on his first flyer and held his troublesome left shoulder as he walked away from the scene.

However, after a visit to the transporter to presumably pop the joint back in to place, he immediately leapt to third position on his second bike.

Starting his next lap, however, the 2018 champion very nearly went down again at Turn 1 and made no further impression on the timing screen.

Pol Espargaro put his Red Bull KTM sixth on the grid, while Row 3 is Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar), who came from Q1, alongside Aleix Espargaro (Gresini Aprilia) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda).

Jack Miller was fourth at the halfway mark but dropped his Pramac Ducati before he could set a time on his second run and was bumped back to 10th, where he will be joined on Row 4 by fellow crasher Johann Zarco (Tech3 Yamaha) and Ducati Team test rider Michele Pirro.

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) will start 16th, directly behind former team-mate Lorenzo on the Circuit Ricardo Tormo starting grid.

Xavier Simeon was declared unfit to ride after crashing his Avintia Ducati in each of the two Friday practice sessions.

Qualifying ran in dry conditions, at least on the race line, after rain fell during each of the first three sessions of the weekend.

The final race of 2018, to be contested over 27 laps, is due for a start on Monday morning at 0000 AEDT.

Qualifying: Valencia MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev
1 25 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:31.312  
2 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:31.380 0.068/0.068
3 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:31.392 0.080/0.012
4 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1:31.414 0.102/0.022
5 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:31.442 0.130/0.028
6 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:31.577 0.265/0.135
7 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:31.629 0.317/0.052
8 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:31.630 0.318/0.001
9 26 Dani PEDROSA ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:32.140 0.828/0.510
10 43 Jack MILLER AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1:32.145 0.833/0.005
11 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1:32.179 0.867/0.034
12 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:32.310 0.998/0.131
13 99 Jorge LORENZO ESP Ducati Team Ducati 1:31.900 Q1/Q1
14 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:31.928 Q1/0.028
15 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1:32.385 Q1/0.457
16 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:32.452 Q1/0.067
17 12 Thomas LUTHI SUI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1:32.545 Q1/0.093
18 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Angel Nieto Team Ducati 1:32.547 Q1/0.002
19 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA ESP Angel Nieto Team Ducati 1:32.568 Q1/0.021
20 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:32.708 Q1/0.140
21 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1:32.749 Q1/0.041
22 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:33.011 Q1/0.262
23 81 Jordi TORRES ESP Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1:34.427 Q1/1.416
24 45 Scott REDDING GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:35.171 Q1/0.744

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