Espargaro Leads Suzuki 1-2 in Catalunya Qualifying

Aleix Espargaro handed Suzuki their first MotoGP pole position since Assen 2007 in a thrilling qualifying session at the Circuit de Catalunya. In a fairytale scenario for the returning Japanese manufacturer, Maverick Vinales backed up his teammate with second spot on the grid, edging out double champions Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez.

The result shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone with Vinales topping FP3 this morning, following up his teammate’s blistering pace on Friday, but in the early stages of qualifying, the usual suspects rose to the top of the leaderboard. Lorenzo was the first to draw blood with quickest lap of the weekend on his very first attempt but by the time the Yamaha man had returned to his garage, Marquez has usurped him with a circuit record 1:40.754.

Showing shades of Marquez in previous qualifying sessions, Lorenzo was opting for a three-run strategy and used his second YZR-M1 to regain pole position, clocking a 1:40.646. Unfortunately for Yamaha, they didn’t have the softest tyre option at their disposal and Suzuki used it to great effect, Espargaro going fastest with two minutes remaining while Vinales slotted in between his compatriots to hand Suzuki a dream qualifying result.

Marquez failed to improve on his second run and fell back to fourth with Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa joining him on row two, the latter advancing from Q1 before securing sixth spot. Championship leader Valentino Rossi faces another uphill struggle on race day from seventh on the grid with leading satellite riders Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow next to him on row three, Crutchlow having thrown away a possible front row with a crash at turn ten.

Yonny Hernandez will start tenth ahead of Pol Espargaro who also tumbled on his final qualifying run while Andrea Iannone, quickest in Q2 at Mugello, was slowest of all in the pole position shootout this time and lines up twelfth.



PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time 
141. Aleix EspargaroSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:40.546Q2
225. Maverick VinalesSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:40.629Q2
399. Jorge LorenzoYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:40.646Q2
493. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:40.754Q2
54. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:40.907Q2
626. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:40.928Q2
746. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:41.058Q2
838. Bradley SmithYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:41.068Q2
935. Cal CrutchlowHondaCWM LCR Honda1:41.195Q2
1068. Yonny HernandezDucatiPramac Racing1:41.333Q2
1144. Pol EspargaroYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:41.385Q2
1229. Andrea IannoneDucatiDucati Team1:41.524Q2
138. Hector BarberaDucatiAvintia Racing1:42.003Q1
1445. Scott ReddingHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS1:42.029Q1
156. Stefan BradlYamaha ForwardAthina Forward Racing1:42.053Q1
169. Danilo PetrucciDucatiPramac Racing1:42.155Q1
1763. Mike Di MeglioDucatiAvintia Racing1:42.273Q1
1869. Nicky HaydenHondaAspar MotoGP Team1:42.485Q1
1976. Loris BazYamaha ForwardAthina Forward Racing1:42.592Q1
2019. Alvaro BautistaApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:42.600Q1
2143. Jack MillerHondaCWM LCR Honda1:42.928Q1
2250. Eugene LavertyHondaAspar MotoGP Team1:42.971Q1
2315. Alex de AngelisARTOcto IodaRacing Team1:43.601Q1
2433. Marco MelandriApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:44.345Q1
2517. Karel AbrahamHondaAB MotoracingNo TimeQ1