Marc Marquez was simply untouchable in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Aragon as he took an unchallenged pole position for tomorrow's race. The Spaniard set the pace in this morning's extended practice session and only took only five minutes of qualifying to go even quicker, setting a 1:53.761 on his second flying lap.
It was a sign of his dominance that Marquez needn't have bothered going out again, as no other riders managed to get near that time, but the championship hopeful still had enough in reserve to go half a second quicker. His lap time of 1:53.296 took almost two seconds off Andrea Iannone's previous circuit record and left the other 38 riders scrapping for second.
Title rival Stefan Bradl led the chasing pack early on with a 1:54.257 as he continued his desperate attempt to keep Marquez in sight, but Aleix Espargaro moved in front of him by three hundredths of a second midway through the session.
The front row remained unchanged until the final two minutes when Julian Simon grabbed second the Mapfre Aspar Suter. The former 125cc World Champion has endured a torrid season including a leg-breaking accident at Catalunya but will start from the front row for just the second time this year, a major confidence boost for the Spaniard.
The session did come to a painful end for Simon though after losing control shortly after his flying lap. Despite an awkward landing, he limped back into parc ferme and visited the medical centre for a precautionary check-up.
Scott Redding's late-summer improvement continued with another qualifying performance for the Marc VDS team. The Briton was third fastest in the morning and repeated that display in the afternoon to join Marquez and Simon on the front row.
Redding's late effort pushed Espargaro off the front row and Alex de Angelis demoted him to fifth moments later. Stefan Bradl had now fallen to sixth but dug deep on his final lap to take fourth, albeit 0.779s away from pole.
Jules Cluzel will head up the third row ahead of the younger Espargaro brother, Pol, in eighth and Mika Kallio ninth while Andrea Iannone will certainly be worth watching from tenth.
Bradley Smith will also be looking to carve his way through the field after a difficult day. The Tech 3 youngster led the morning practice session until a crash and never seemed to recover for the rest of the day. Smith struggled with a visibly twitchy Mistral 610 and could only manage 15th.
|1||Marc Marquez||SPA||Suter||Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol||1:53.296|
|2||Julian Simon||SPA||Suter||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2||+0.684|
|3||Scott Redding||GBR||Suter||Marc VDS Racing Team||+0.708|
|4||Stefan Bradl||GER||Kalex||Viessman Kiefer Racing||+0.779|
|5||Alex de Angelis||RSM||Motobi||JIR Moto2||+0.878|
|6||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Pons Kalex||Pons HP 40||+0.924|
|7||Jules Cluzel||FRA||Suter||NGM Forward Racing||+0.993|
|8||Pol Espargaro||SPA||FTR||HP Tuenti Speed Up||+1.062|
|9||Mika Kallio||FIN||Suter||Marc VDS Racing Team||+1.089|
|10||Andrea Iannone||ITA||Suter||Speed Master||+1.094|
|11||Thomas Luthi||SWI||Suter||Interwetten Paddock Moto2||+1.117|
|12||Simone Corsi||ITA||FTR||Ioda Racing Project||+1.222|
|13||Michele Pirro||ITA||Moriwaki||Gresini Racing Moto2||+1.278|
|14||Yuki Takahashi||JAP||Moriwaki||Gresini Racing Moto2||+1.303|
|15||Bradley Smith||GBR||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||+1.323|
|16||Claudio Corti||ITA||Suter||Italtrans Racing Team||+1.329|
|17||Max Neukirchner||GER||MZ-RE Honda||MZ Racing Team||+1.457|
|18||Mattia Pasini||ITA||FTR||Ioda Racing Project||+1.497|
|19||Mike Di Meglio||FRA||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||+1.593|
|21||Anthony West||AUS||MZ-RE Honda||MZ Racing Team||+1.751|
|22||Jordi Torres||SPA||Suter||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2||+1.788|
|24||Xavier Simeon||BEL||Tech 3||Tech 3 B||+1.987|
|25||Randy Krummenacher||SWI||Kalex||GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing||+2.028|
|26||Ricard Cardus||SPA||Moriwaki||QMMF Racing Team||+2.099|
|27||Alex Baldolini||ITA||Pons Kalex||Pons HP 40||+2.149|
|29||Raffaele de Rosa||ITA||Suter||NGM Forward Racing||+2.297|
|31||Ratthapark Wilairot||THA||FTR||Thai Honda Singha SAG||+2.439|
|32||Santiago Hernandez||COL||FTR||SAG Team||+2.571|
|33||Valentin Debise||FRA||FTR||Speed Up||+2.630|
|35||Joan Olive||SPA||FTR||Aeroport de Castello||+3.317|
|36||Sergio Gadea||SPA||Suter||Desguaces La Torre G22||+3.340|
|37||Robertino Pietri||VEN||Suter||Italtrans Racing Team||+3.395|
|38||Mashel Al Naimi||QAT||Moriwaki||QMMF Racing Team||+3.901|
|39||Elena Rosell (WC)||SPA||Suter||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2||+5.510|
|107% Qualifying Time: 2:01.228|