Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) set a scintillating lap mid-way through qualifying at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo and that proved enough for pole for the Championship leader ahead of the #FinalShowdown – despite then taking a tumble after a front end washout on his final run. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) takes second after improving on his final lap, three tenths off polesitter Marquez, with Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) completing the front row in another show of good pace in the season finale.
Friday’s fastest Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) heads up the second row after a fast crash when setting red sectors – rider ok – with the five-time World Champion only a tiny margin off a top three start at the venue where he holds the pole lap, race lap and most premier class wins records. The rider with the most victories at the circuit across all classes, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), is just behind Lorenzo in fifth after ending Day 1 in P2. Ducati Team test rider and wildcard Michele Pirro completes the second row.
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took P7 to edge Q1 graduate Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) by only nine thousandths, with the Spaniard crashing out late on but eighth despite returning from injury and suffering with illness. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) will start ninth – and he has won from there before – but faces a mountain to climb on race day if he is to win the race and retain a chance at the crown.
Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) completes the top ten, ahead of Q1 graduate Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), who went eleventh fastest but will start from pitlane due to an engine penalty. Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) takes P12 and was another to crash in the session, moving one place forward on race day as Espargaro’s penalty shuffles the grid forward.
That’s good news for Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) after a tough day at the office for the rider from Roses, qualifying in P13 and gaining one place. He’s followed by Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), with Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) and Q1 faller Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) completing the fastest sixteen and the top fifteen on the grid.
The #FinalShowdown is now ready to race, with the lights going out at 14:00 (GMT +1) on Sunday and the crown on the line.
MotoGP Qualifying Results
1 – Marc Marquez (SPA – Honda) 1’29.897
1st Independent Team Rider:
2 – Johann Zarco (FRA – Yamaha) +0.349
3 – Andrea Iannone (ITA – Suzuki) +0.502