Reigning champion Marc Marquez has put himself and the Repsol Honda in the best position possible to secure his much sought-after seventh consecutive win at COTA.
Setting a time of 2:03.787 early in the Q2 session, he secured his seventh pole in a role at the American circuit. Just 0.273 seconds behind was Valentino Rossi on the Yamaha with Cal Crutchlow rounding out the top three.
Marquez’s closest title rival, Andrea Dovizioso failed to make it into Q1 and will start from thirteenth for tomorrow’s race. He briefly took the promotion spots, setting the fastest Q1 times, but was eventually demoted to the fifth row of the grid.
Thankfully, qualifying was able to take place on a relatively dry track. The earlier Free Practice 3 sessions were canceled for all classes after severe rain and lightning.
Jack Miller and his Ducati secured fourth ahead of a Spanish trio. Pol Espargaro landed KTM’s best MotoGP starting position in fifth. He will line up ahead of Friday’s pace-setter, Maverick Vinales and Alex Rins who took sixth and seventh respectively.
Danilo Petrucci, rookie Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli then rounded out the top ten, who all completed lap times within 1.5s of each other.
Recovering Jorge Lorenzo set the best time in Q1 before struggling in Q2 after his bike jumped a chain. He will start tomorrows race in eleventh, ahead of Francesco Bagnaia in twelfth who suffered two crashes during qualifying.
Dovizioso will line up next to Joan Mir and Takaaki Nakagami who took fourteenth and fifteenth respectively. The Aprillia pairing of Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Iannone secured sixteenth and seventeenth ahead of Miguel Oliveira in eighteenth.
Johann Zarco in nineteenth was just 0.969s off the pace to make it into Q2. The starting grid will be rounded out by Karel Abraham, Hafizh Syahrin and Tito Rabat.
Tomorrow’s MotoGP race will kick off at 6pm (UK time) and The Checkered Flag will have all the updates to keep you fully informed. Stay tuned!