Valentino Rossi stunned his Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo by pipping him to pole position in the dying seconds of qualifying at Jerez. For much of the session, pole was disputed between Lorenzo and Marc Marquez but Rossi changed everything with a sensational last gasp effort, securing his first pole since Assen 2015 and first at Jerez for eleven years.
Only three Yamahas took to the circuit for Q2 following Bradley Smith’s elimination in the first session but the YZR-M1 of Lorenzo was straight on the pace, clocking a 1:39.405 on his first lap of the afternoon. Marquez’s opening salvo was only good enough for second, 0.342s off, but by the time the championship leader returned to his Repsol Honda garage, he‘d set a 1:39.064 to snatch provisional pole.
After opting against three runs, Lorenzo ventured back out with four minutes to go and jumped straight back to the top of the leaderboard, breaking into the 1:38s for the first time this weekend. A poor run out of the final corner prevented Marquez from striking back, although he did join Jorge on a sub-1:39 lap, but Rossi had no such issues in the second half of the lap and wrestled pole away from his teammate as the chequered flag flew.
Andrea Dovizioso grabbed fourth on the grid for Ducati, albeit eight tenths off the pace, while the Suzukis of Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro rounded out the second row in fifth and sixth respectively. Dani Pedrosa heads row three ahead of Pol Espargaro and Hector Barbera with Cal Crutchlow completing the top ten after navigating his way through a competitive Q2.
2016 GRAN PREMIO RED BULL DE ESPANA (QUALIFYING CLASSIFICATION)
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