Jorge Lorenzo kept up his impressive Mugello form by claiming his first pole position for Ducati in Barcelona. The Spaniard denied reigning champion Marc Marquez to end his 18-month run without a pole position while Andrea Dovizioso rounded out the front row, underlining Ducati’s strength around the Circuit de Catalunya.
It was an eventful Saturday for Marquez who suffered his second crash of the weekend in FP3, a costly error which forced him to go through Qualifying 1. The championship leader produced another of his miraculous front-end saves late in FP4 at the final corner before finally settling down in time to book his place in the pole position shootout.
It initially looked as though his extra 15 minutes of track time was going to pay off with Marquez taking provisional pole on a 1:38.886, the fastest lap of the weekend. The Honda rider improved by a tenth of a second on his second set of tyres but that wouldn’t prove enough as Lorenzo produced the fastest fourth sector of the afternoon to snatch top spot from his grasp.
Dovizioso was the only other rider to break the 1:38s in third with Maverick Vinales leading a tight group of four riders separated by just a tenth of a second. Andrea Iannone was the next of them in fifth ahead of Danilo Petrucci while Valentino Rossi heads the third row in seventh, joined by Johann Zarco and the impressive Tito Rabat.
Cal Crutchlow completes the top ten but the Briton will be left ruing a crash at the remodelled turn 13 while on a personal best lap.
2018 Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya: (Qualifying)
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