They say you can’t keep a good man down, and after a more difficult Qatar GP, reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) bounced back in stunning style after the rain came down in Argentina – mastering the tricky damp and drying conditions to take his first pole position of the year.
With Marquez clear at the top, it was a stunning ride into P2 for Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) – who put his GP15 straight into the mix at the front and kept it calm for his best ever premier class start. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), after also impressing earlier on Saturday, completes the front row in an exciting line up at the front.
Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) was another who converted the Q2 opportunity into great slot on the grid, as he heads the second row from Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team). Pedrosa led the charge in Q1’s clash of the titans and moved through along with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) – setting the scene for a Q2 with a difference.
Qatar winner and Championship leader Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completes the second row – just ahead of veteran Italian teammate Rossi by less than a tenth. Behind the ‘Doctor’ was another solid performance from Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider Aleix Espargaro, who will line up in P8 following his heroics in the Qatar GP to take Aprilia’s best result since returning in 2015.
Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) was an early hero in the wetter conditions with a provisional front row, and the Frenchman will line up in ninth after later improvements from many in the field. Pull&Bear Aspar Team’s Alvaro Bautista completes the top ten.
Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was top rookie in qualifying and the only rookie in Q2, lining up just ahead of Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone after the Italian had a moment on his final charge.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) complete the top 15 – just ahead of a difficult day for Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team).
The lights go out for the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina at 16:00 local time (GMT -3), with everything set up for another incredible modern MotoGP™ classic.
MotoGP Qualifying Results
1 – Marc Márquez (SPA – Honda) 1’47.512
1st Independent Team Rider: 2 – Karel Abraham (CZE – Ducati) + 0.763
3 – Cal Crutchlow (GBR – Honda) 0.766