Marquez survives Quartararo threat to take Aragon pole
Marc Marquez has qualified on pole position for the Aragon MotoGP despite a late threat from Fabio Quartararo.
The Repsol Honda rider set a personal best 1:47.009s which left him just over three tenths of a second clear of Quartararo, while Maverick Viñales made for two Yamahas on the front row.
Jack Miller was the top Ducati rider in qualifying fourth, one position ahead of Gresini Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro.
Marquez had dominated practice and held a margin of almost eight tenths over the field at the end of the first runs through Qualifying 2, courtesy of a 1:47.050s.
Quartararo (Petronas SRT Yamaha) was also best of the rest at that stage, with Miller (Pramac Ducati) less than three hundredths slower than the Frenchman, in third position.
When they rolled out for their final runs, Marquez shaved 0.041s off the benchmark despite being exactly two tenths slower to the first sector than he was just before pitting.
Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha) found almost half a second relatively to his first run as he provisionally took up second position and Aleix Espargaro looked as though he might pull off a huge shock by going third fastest.
Miller spoiled that for the Aprilia rider moments later when he came through with a 1:47.658s which also demoted Quartararo to fifth.
The chequered flag then came out and although most of the contenders for top spot had given up, Quartararo was going faster to each of the first three sectors than Marquez’s provisional pole lap.
However, that would prove to be something of an illusion given Marquez’s slower first sector and while Quartararo strung together a quartet of personal best splits, he still ended up 0.327s away from #93.
Even so, was good enough for Quartararo to beat his factory Yamaha counterpart by 0.136s, while Valentino Rossi put the second works M1 into sixth position.
Cal Crutchlow (Castrol LCR Honda) was seventh and will be joined on Row 3 by Franco Morbidelli (Petronas SRT Yamaha), who came from Qualifying 1, and Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar).
Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) was 1.599s off the pace in 10th, ahead of the other man who went the long way through qualifying in Andrea Iannone (Gresini Honda).
Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) did not qualify at all and was subsequently ruled out of Sunday action due to a broken wrist sustained in a Free Practice 4 highside at the Reverse Corkscrew.
Several big names failed to make it past Qualifying 1, headed up by Alex Rins.
The Suzuki Ecstar rider was initially in the top two cutoff but a second-run switch to a hard rear tyre failed to pay dividends as he qualified 13th, although that will become 12th on the grid in Pol Espargaro’s absence.
Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) did not look a serious prospect of advancing and is due to start 14th, five positions ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda).
Mika Kallio, who has taken Johann Zarco’s seat at Red Bull KTM Factory Racing for the balance of the season, ended up 19th in qualifying and therefore 18th on the grid.
Race start is set for the slightly earlier time of 2100 AEST, just before the Formula 1 race, with 23 laps the journey.
Qualifying: Aragon MotoGP
|1||93||Marc MARQUEZ||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1:47.009|
|2||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||FRA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||1:47.336||0.327 / 0.327|
|3||12||Maverick VIÑALES||ESP||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:47.472||0.463 / 0.136|
|4||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:47.658||0.649 / 0.186|
|5||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||ESP||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:47.733||0.724 / 0.075|
|6||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:48.015||1.006 / 0.282|
|7||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||1:48.322||1.313 / 0.307|
|8||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||1:48.372||1.363 / 0.050|
|9||36||Joan MIR||ESP||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:48.458||1.449 / 0.086|
|10||04||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1:48.608||1.599 / 0.150|
|11||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:49.240||2.231 / 0.632|
|12||44||Pol ESPARGARO||ESP||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM|
|13||42||Alex RINS||ESP||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:48.449||Q1 / Q1|
|14||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||1:48.477||Q1 / 0.028|
|15||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1:48.682||Q1 / 0.205|
|16||63||Francesco BAGNAIA||ITA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:48.748||Q1 / 0.066|
|17||88||Miguel OLIVEIRA||POR||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||1:48.827||Q1 / 0.079|
|18||53||Tito RABAT||ESP||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1:48.916||Q1 / 0.089|
|19||82||Mika KALLIO||FIN||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:49.085||Q1 / 0.169|
|20||99||Jorge LORENZO||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1:49.282||Q1 / 0.197|
|21||55||Hafizh SYAHRIN||MAS||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||1:49.315||Q1 / 0.033|
|22||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1:49.517||Q1 / 0.202|
|23||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Aprilia Racing Team||Aprilia||1:49.756||Q1 / 0.239|