Dani Pedrosa brought Marc Marquez’s unbeaten qualifying streak to an end after the world champion crashed in Q2 at Catalunya. Pedrosa snatched pole on his second run while his teammate’s perfect run on Saturdays finally reached an end, Jorge Lorenzo pipping him for second spot.
Normal service looked to have been resumed at the beginning of Q2 with Marquez going straight to provisional pole position on a 1:41.135 but as it turned out, his first timed lap would also prove to be his quickest. Pedrosa initially slotted into second while Lorenzo and Bradley Smith led the Yamaha challenge in third and fourth.
Marquez switched to his second motorcycle for his second run but didn’t go any faster, opening the door for Pedrosa to go fastest on a 1:40.985. Marc returned to the pits without completing a flying lap and his third run was cut short even sooner when the front end of his Repsol Honda folded underneath him as he braked for turn one.
Marc was out of contention and Lorenzo ensured he would fall back to third with a 1:41.100. Stefan Bradl had briefly overhauled the Yamaha but eventually fell back to fourth while Valentino Rossi and Aleix Espargaro beat the yellow flags to claim fifth and sixth. Andrea Dovizioso also left it late to go seventh while Bradley Smith fell back to eighth, just in front of Yonny Hernandez and Pol Espargaro on the second Tech 3 Yamaha.
Andrea Iannone and Alvaro Bautista emerged from Q1 but couldn’t lift themselves off the bottom of the Q2 leaderboard, Bautista suffering a painful highside at turn seven, but their progress did ensure Cal Crutchlow was eliminated in the first session and the Briton will start thirteenth.