Maverick Vinales on pole, Rossi on the front row
Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) has taken pole position for the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon, exactly a tenth of a second ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) at the front as compatriot and key title rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) tumbled out of contention. There was more headline news as Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) added another chapter to his incredible comeback, qualifying on the front row in third after missing only one event following his leg injury.
Under blue and sunny skies at the stunning MotorLand Aragon, FP3 had seen a shootout for Q2 entry that lit up the timesheets, and Jorge Lorenzo was the high profile name left to head through Q1. But the five-time World Champion easily moved through, subsequently qualifying on the front row.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) was the man to lose out late on as he was pushed down to fourth, but the two-time GP winner remains top Independent Team rider. Reigning Champion Marc Marquez, despite his crash – rider ok – will start in the middle of the second row, which is completed by teammate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team).
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) had a solid session to take seventh and will be looking to move forward and track Championship rival Marquez, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) impressing in P8 at the venue where he took his first premier class podium. Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) lines up ninth despite a crash, with Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) taking P10.
Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was eleventh quickest after moving through Q1, with Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) lining up in P12 as he wildcards and impresses once again. Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) missed out on Q2 by only thousandths and starts P13, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) locking out the fastest fifteen for the grid.
Now it’s time to race, with equal points at the top between Marquez and Dovizioso – both of whom start off the front row – Rossi fighting through the pain barrier, and Viñales ready to strike from pole.
MotoGP Qualifying Results
1 – Maverick Vinales (SPA – Yamaha) 1’47.635
2 – Jorge Lorenzo (SPA – Ducati) +0.100
3 – Valentino Rossi (ITA – Yamaha) +0.180
1st Independent Team Rider:
P4 – Cal Crutchlow (GBR – Honda) +0.195