Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) took a stunning pole position in the heat haze of the Catalan GP, storming clear of the field by three tenths to return to the top for the second time this year. Compatriot Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) shot into second for his first front row start in red – after also proving second fastest on Friday – as two of the home heroes led the charge. Third was an incredible front row for Mugello podium finisher Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing), as the Italian kept his momentum from a stunning home race last time out.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was one of the key headline makers, as the reigning Champion will head the second row but suffered a spate of crashes on Saturday. His final fall in Q2 took him out of contention for pole, with Marquez looking to wipe the slate clean overnight before trying to hunt down the win.
The sun shone more on Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) in fifth as his impressive pace from the morning continued into Q2, with another home hero just behind him in sixth – Reale Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera.
Mugello winner Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) heads up row three, ahead of Q1 graduates Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) after a tough day for the Yamahas.
Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) completed the top ten and was another multiple crasher on Saturday – rider ok – with Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) and Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in P11 and P12 respectively.
The headlines were also thick and fast in Q1, as nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) missed the cut only marginally to start P13, ahead of rookie sensation Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) lines up P17 and was another crasher.
The Catalan GP has already shown a fair share of drama, and the lights haven’t even gone out for the race yet. See how the story concludes on Sunday at 14:00 (GMT +2).
MotoGP Qualifying Results
1 – Dani Pedrosa (SPA – Honda) 1’43.870
2 – Jorge Lorenzo (SPA – Ducati ) +0.331
1st Independent Team Rider:
3 – Danilo Petrucci (ITA – Ducati) +0.350