Marc Marquez picked up where he left off after MotoGP’s summer break by taking pole position for the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno. The championship leader edged out Valentino Rossi to claim his fourth pole of the season with Dani Pedrosa completing the front row on the second Repsol Honda.
After a rain-affected Friday, brighter conditions prevailed to render the FP2 times all-but irrelevant. As a result, two of yesterday’s top three were knocked out of the top ten in final practice and were forced to compete in Q1. Jonas Folger was the high-profile competitor in the first session and surprisingly, the German rookie failed to advance, leaving him fourteenth on the grid.
Q2 was expected to be a Honda-dominated affair and with Marquez suffering a sizable moment at turn three on his first attempt, Pedrosa established himself as the early polesitter with a 1:55.313. Marquez slotted into second with a slightly tidier second run while Jorge Lorenzo found himself without a legal time on the board having exceeded track limits on his way to the third quickest time.
On his final run, Marquez managed to iron out the errors from earlier on, becoming the first rider this weekend to break into the 1:54s. Valentino Rossi was circulating close behind and despite gaining time in the second half of the lap, the Italian had to settle for second, 0.092s adrift. Pedrosa’s late improvement wasn’t enough to prevent himself falling to third while Andrea Dovizioso secured fourth for Ducati.
Cal Crutchlow overcame back pain following a practice crash to qualify fifth with Lorenzo finally registering a lap time in the dying seconds, lifting him to sixth. Title hopeful Maverick Vinales has work to do from seventh and has a pair of Ducatis for company on row three, Danilo Petrucci and Alvaro Bautista taking eighth and ninth respectively.
2017 Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceske Republiky: Qualifying
[table id=2314 /]