Jack Miller was rewarded for a slick-tyre gamble in qualifying as he claimed his maiden MotoGP pole position in Argentina. The Australian was the only rider to risk dry tyres on a damp Termas de Rio Hondo track and would go onto snatch pole from Dani Pedrosa in the dying seconds of Q2.
The headlines earlier in the day where made by championship leader Andrea Dovizioso who was left stranded outside the top ten in final practice by the rain. This forced the Italian to go through Q1 but disaster was soon averted as Dovizioso eased through, which was more than could be said for his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo who will line up fourteenth tomorrow.
Aleix Espargaro was the other rider to advance from the first session and looked set to convert that into a front row start, the Aprilia man taking provisional pole early on. Following his first run, Miller decided to switch to slicks in an attempt to climb up the order and while Marc Marquez would make the same call, the world champion aborted after a single lap and reverted back to wets.
Having stayed on wet tyres throughout, Pedrosa looked set to be rewarded with pole after clocking a 1:47.330 in the dying seconds, edging him ahead of Johann Zarco, but three nerve-jangling laps on a slippery circuit brought rewards for Miller who had sufficient tyre temperature to set a 1:47.153 last time around, earning him a memorable pole position.
Zarco will start third ahead of the sensational Tito Rabat who grabbed fourth for Avintia, just ahead of Alex Rins with Marquez only sixth after a mistake-ridden session. Espargaro slipped to seventh ahead of Dovizioso and Maverick Vinales with Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi forced to start from row four, tenth and eleventh respectively.
2018 Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina: (Qualifying)
|1||43. Jack Miller||Ducati||Alma Pramac Racing||1:47.153||Q2|
|2||26. Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:47.330||Q2|
|3||5. Johann Zarco||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:47.365||Q2|
|4||53. Tito Rabat||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||1:47.681||Q2|
|5||42. Alex Rins||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||1:47.743||Q2|
|6||93. Marc Marquez||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:47.754||Q2|
|7||41. Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:37.845||Q2|
|8||4. Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:48.247||Q2|
|9||25. Maverick Vinales||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||1:49.044||Q2|
|10||35. Cal Crutchlow||Honda||LCR Honda Castrol||1:49.304||Q2|
|11||46. Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||1:49.326||Q2|
|12||29. Andrea Iannone||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||1:49.975||Q2|
|13||17. Karel Abraham||Ducati||Angel Nieto Team||1:49.878||Q1|
|14||99. Jorge Lorenzo||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:50.063||Q1|
|15||45. Scott Redding||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:50.175||Q1|
|16||44. Pol Espargaro||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||1:50.324||Q1|
|17||10. Xavier Simeon||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||1:50.364||Q1|
|18||9. Danilo Petrucci||Ducati||Alma Pramac Racing||1:50.449||Q1|
|19||19. Alvaro Bautista||Ducati||Angel Nieto Team||1:50.606||Q1|
|20||12. Thomas Luthi||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:50.833||Q1|
|21||38. Bradley Smith||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||1:51.007||Q1|
|22||21. Franco Morbidelli||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:51.012||Q1|
|23||55. Hafizh Syahrin||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:51.142||Q1|
|24||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Honda||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||1:51.387||Q1|