Maverick Vinales upset the odds by claiming pole position for the Aragon Grand Prix, ending Marc Marquez’s five-year undefeated run in qualifying at the circuit. The Movistar Yamaha rider, who had been quiet through free practice, took full advantage of a crash for Marquez in the closing minutes to take his second consecutive pole ahead of Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo.
Lorenzo’s front row spot had looked unlikely after Free Practice 3 with the Ducati rider only eleventh quickest, forcing him to go through Q1. The Spaniard made his way through the first session with the minimum of fuss though, bringing Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco with him.
Marquez had been the fastest rider of all earlier in the day and made a bright start to Q2, becoming the first rider of the weekend to break the 1:48 barrier, clocking a 1:47.963. However, the championship leader threw away any chances of a sixth straight Aragon pole by losing the front end of his Honda under braking for turn twelve, ending his session two minutes early.
With Marc out of contention, Valentino Rossi emerged as a shock contender for pole despite breaking his leg three weeks ago. Astonishingly, the Italian moved into provisional pole with a minute remaining, setting a 1:47.815, but his team-mate would erase any possibility of a fairy-tale Rossi return, snatching pole for himself with a 1:47.635.
Lorenzo also broke into the 1:47s late on, enabling him to split the Yamahas, while Cal Crutchlow leads an all-Honda second row after edging ahead of Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. Championship co-leader Andrea Dovizioso will line up seventh ahead of Aleix Espargaro and Alvaro Bautista while Andrea Iannone completed the top ten aboard the Suzuki.
2017 Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon – Qualifying
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