Lorenzo nips Marquez to end MotoGP pole drought

Jorge Lorenzo snatches pole
Jorge Lorenzo snatches pole

Jorge Lorenzo has won pole position for the Catalan Grand Prix at Barcelona, his first since switching to Ducati.

Lorenzo ended a dry spell with victory at the preceding event in Italy, his first with Ducati.

Reigning World Champion and current points leader Marc Marquez had looked poised for pole, even on a difficult weekend, having had to participate in Q1 off the back of a crash in FP3.

Marquez sat atop the times with a 1:38.886 and improved to a 1:38.746; rivals made gains to close in, but Andrea Dovizioso’s quick lap faded in the final sector, leaving the Repsol Honda rider clear up front.

But a stunning last sector from Dovizioso’s teammate Lorenzo vaulted the Spaniard ahead of fellow Spaniard Marquez, a time of 1:38.680 giving the #99 top spot in qualifying for the first time since his Yamaha swansong in Valencia two years ago.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Maverick Vinales was the lead Yamaha rider in fourth position while Andrea Iannone spearheaded Suzuki’s charge, taking fifth, leaving Lorenzo’s 2019 Ducati replacement Danilo Petrucci to take sixth for Pramac.

Valentino Rossi registered seventh spot, with Johann Zarco eighth, the Frenchman taking to Turn 1’s gravel trap after a close moment with Marquez in the braking zone.

Tito Rabat was ninth for Avintia, while Cal Crutchlow crashed heavily through the penultimate corner as he rounded out the top 10.

After falling several times in practice, Marquez surged to 2nd in qualifying
After falling several times in practice, Marquez surged to 2nd in qualifying

Dani Pedrosa’s difficult campaign continued as he took only 11th, with Crutchlow’s LCR team-mate Takaaki Nakagami the slowest rider in Q2.

Pramac’s Jack Miller was the quickest of the Q1 competitors who failed to reach Q2 and will start from 13th, in front of Hafizh Syahrin, while Alex Rins took a lowly 15th for Suzuki.

Aleix Espargaro and Bradley Smith led the charge for Aprilia and KTM respectively, ahead of Franco Morbidelli (Marc VDS), Pol Espargaro (KTM) and outgoing Aprilia rider Scott Redding.

Angel Nieto pair Karel Abraham and Alvaro Bautista took 21st and 22nd, the latter crashing late on at Turn 4, while KTM tester Mika Kallio was 23rd.

Tom Luthi (Marc VDS), Suzuki wildcard Sylvain Guintoli and Avintia’s Xavier Simeon will round out the expanded 26-bike grid for Sunday’s race.

Catalunya – Qualifying

Pos Rider Team Time Gap
1 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati Team 1:38.680
2 Marc Marquez Honda Team 1:38.746 0.066
3 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team 1:38.923 0.243
4 Maverick Vinales Yamaha MotoGP 1:38.145 0.535
5 Andrea Iannone Suzuki Ecstar 1:39.148 0.468
6 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Racing 1:39.178 0.498
7 Valentino Rossi Yamaha MotoGP 1:39.266 0.586
8 Johann Zarco Yamaha Tech 3 1:39.331 0.651
9 Tito Rabat Avintia Racing 1:39.504 0.824
10 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1:39.556 0.876
11 Dani Pedrosa Honda Team 1:39.695 1.015
12 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 1:39.888 1.208
13 Jack Miller Pramac Racing 1:39.732
14 Hafizh Syahrin Yamaha Tech 3 1:39.879
15 Alex Rins Suzuki Ecstar 1:39.918
16 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing 1:40.010
17 Bradley Smith KTM Racing 1:40.019
18 Franco Morbidelli Marc VDS 1:40.058
19 Pol Espargaro KTM Racing 1:40.178
20 Scott Redding Aprilia Racing 1:40.300
21 Karel Abraham Angel Nieto Team 1:40.449
22 Alvaro Bautista Angel Nieto Team 1:40.524
23 Mika Kallio KTM Racing 1:40.572
24 Thomas Luthi Marc VDS 1:40.590

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