Cal Crutchlow set a new qualifying lap record around Jerez to claim pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix, his first since Silverstone 2016. The Briton backed up his impressive Friday practice pace to take pole ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Johann Zarco with championship leader Andrea Dovizioso forced to start from the third row once again.
For Dovizioso, the situation threatened to be even worse after Saturday practice with the Italian only eleventh overall, forcing him to go through Q1. Fortunately for Ducati, Dovizioso eased through into the pole position shootout with the minimum of fuss, joined by Maverick Vinales who was the other high-profile contender in Q1.
Marc Marquez had gone faster than the previous circuit record in FP3 but couldn’t match that blistering pace when it mattered most. The reigning champion did take provisional pole early on with a 1:37.977 but failed to go any faster in the remainder of the session, causing him to slip down the order.
Crutchlow was the first to demote him, setting a 1:37.752 on his second run, but a final burst saw the LCR Honda rider lower the benchmark time by a further tenth of a second, underlining his superiority. Pedrosa climbed to second while Zarco also made late progress to snatch third. Jorge Lorenzo also saved his best for last, stealing fourth from Marquez, with the Suzukis of Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone next up.
Dovizioso lines up eighth ahead of Pramac’s Danilo Petrucci with the leading Movistar Yamaha down in tenth with Valentino Rossi just ahead of team-mate Maverick Vinales.
2018 Gran Premio Red Bull de Espana: (Qualifying)
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