Marc Marquez coped best with the revised Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya layout to claim pole position for tomorrow’s Catalan GP. Following the tragic events of Friday, the Formula 1 configuration is now being used and the slower layout appears to have tipped the balance in Honda’s favour with Marquez taking pole ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.
Marquez made a blistering start to Q2, lapping at pole position pace straight away and despite catching Hector Barbera in the new-look fourth sector, the Repsol Honda rider leapt straight to the top of the leaderboard with a 1:43.900, barging past the Avintia rider at the turn 14/15 chicane on his way.
Yamaha’s initial response was a long way short with Lorenzo half a second down in second while Valentino Rossi couldn’t break out of the 1:45s but Jorge soon closed the gap after regrouping in the garage, the reigning champion improving to a 1:44.056. Any hopes Yamaha had of pole were extinguished in the dying seconds though with Marquez finding three tenths on his earlier flyer, giving him nearly half a second’s advantage over the field.
Just half a tenth covered five riders in the battle for the front row with Pedrosa edging out the impressive Barbera who had advanced from Q1. The Avintia rider pipped Valentino Rossi to fourth by two thousandths of a second while Maverick Vinales, the quickest rider in morning practice, trailed the Italian by just 0.005s in sixth.
A flurry of improvements knocked Cal Crutchlow down to seventh with Andrea Iannone, Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso completing the top ten on a trio of Ducatis. Bradley Smith will have work to do in tomorrow’s race having failed to qualify out of Q1, leaving him fourteenth on the grid.
2016 Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya (Qualifying Classification)
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