Lorenzo Snatches Last Gasp Pole at Aragon

Jorge Lorenzo - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com
Jorge Lorenzo - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

Jorge Lorenzo led a Ducati 1-2 in qualifying for the Aragon Grand Prix after a frantic finish which saw Marc Marquez denied pole position. Ducati have won every Grand Prix since the summer break, excluding the cancelled race at Silverstone, and the Bologna squad look well placed to extend that run with Lorenzo on pole ahead of Andrea Dovizioso.

The afternoon began with all eyes on Movistar Yamaha and their season hit a new low with Valentino Rossi unable to reach Q2, leaving him in his worst qualifying position for twelve years in 18th spot. Maverick Vinales did at least save some face for the team by topping Q1 ahead of Takaaki Nakagami but the Spaniard could do no better than eleventh once he reached the pole position shootout.

Marquez had finished quickest in the combined practice standings but a high-speed crash in FP4 disrupted his preparation for the Grand Prix. It didn’t seem to affect his confidence though, as he proved with a 1:46.974 lap on his very first attempt in Q2, a lap time he would improve upon shortly afterwards.

After the riders retreated to the pits for a change of tyres, the second runs began but no-one seemed motivated to go for a timed lap straight away, instead focussing on finding a slipstream for the all-important final effort. With seconds remaining, the twelve riders finally pulled the pin with virtually the entire field circulating together.

Despite the traffic, Marquez was still setting red sectors early in the lap but the world champion always appeared close to the limit, and an error at turn 12 put paid to any hopes of improving his time. This left the Honda rider exposed to the two Ducatis and they duly punished him with Dovizioso setting a 1:46.895, only for his team-mate Lorenzo to edge him out by 0.014s.

Cal Crutchlow suffered a crash of his own at turn 12 in the dying seconds but still maintained fourth while Andrea Iannone and Dani Pedrosa complete the second row. Danilo Petrucci heads row three ahead of Alvaro Bautista and Alex Rins while Jack Miller rounds out the top ten.


2018 Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon (Qualifying)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time 
199. Jorge LorenzoDucatiDucati Team1:46.881Q2
24. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:46.895Q2
393. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:46.960Q2
435. Cal CrutchlowHondaLCR Honda Castrol1:47.146Q2
529. Andrea IannoneSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:47.169Q2
626. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:47.224Q2
79. Danilo PetrucciDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:47.351Q2
819. Alvaro BautistaDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:47.678Q2
942. Alex RinsSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:47.737Q2
1043. Jack MillerDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:47.792Q2
1125. Maverick VinalesYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:47.810Q2
1230. Takaaki NakagamiHondaLCR Honda IDEMITSU1:48.284Q2
1321. Franco MorbidelliHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:48.009Q1
145. Johann ZarcoYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:48.052Q1
1541. Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:48.181Q1
1638. Bradley SmithKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:48.216Q1
1717. Karel AbrahamDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:48.398Q1
1846. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:48.627Q1
1955. Hafizh SyahrinYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:48.975Q1
2012. Thomas LuthiHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:48.988Q1
2145. Scott ReddingApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:49.303Q1
2210. Xavier SimeonDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:49.699Q1
2381. Jordi TorresDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:50.336Q1
NQ43. Pol EspargaroKTMRed Bull KTM Factory RacingNo TimeQ1