Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) has taken pole position for the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon, exactly a tenth of a second ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) at the front as compatriot and key title rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) tumbled out of contention. There was more headline news as Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) added another chapter to his incredible comeback, qualifying on the front row in third after missing only one event following his leg injury.
Under blue and sunny skies at the stunning MotorLand Aragon, FP3 had seen a shootout for Q2 entry that lit up the timesheets, and Jorge Lorenzo was the high profile name left to head through Q1. But the five-time World Champion easily moved through, subsequently qualifying on the front row.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) was the man to lose out late on as he was pushed down to fourth, but the two-time GP winner remains top Independent Team rider. Reigning Champion Marc Marquez, despite his crash – rider ok – will start in the middle of the second row, which is completed by teammate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team).
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) had a solid session to take seventh and will be looking to move forward and track Championship rival Marquez, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) impressing in P8 at the venue where he took his first premier class podium. Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) lines up ninth despite a crash, with Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) taking P10.
Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was eleventh quickest after moving through Q1, with Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) lining up in P12 as he wildcards and impresses once again. Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) missed out on Q2 by only thousandths and starts P13, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) locking out the fastest fifteen for the grid.
Now it’s time to race, with equal points at the top between Marquez and Dovizioso – both of whom start off the front row – Rossi fighting through the pain barrier, and Viñales ready to strike from pole.
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took his second pole of the year at Aragon, just pushing Matta Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) off the top spot despite a late cliffhanger as the Portuguese rider’s lap was cancelled and then subsequently re-instated. That leaves Pasini second but once again showing incredible pace to take the front row, with last year’s podium finisher Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completing it in P3 as he comes back from injury after missing Misano.
Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) came across the line in P4 to lead the second row, ahead of a fifth place for veteran Italian Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) and sixth for the winner in the Moto3™ class at last year’s Aragon GP – Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) – who was the top rookie.
Championship challenger Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) heads the third row after topping Friday’s wet FP1, now only nine points down on Championship leader Morbidelli and looking to move forward off the line. He lines up just ahead of the Dynavolt Intact GP team, as Marcel Schrötter and Sandro Cortese start from eighth and ninth on the grid respectively – Schrötter as he comes back from injury and Cortese after great pace all weekend.
Idemitsu Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami is another who will be looking for a good launch as he took tenth, edging out San Marino GP winner Dominic Aegerter (Kiefer Racing). A late fall at turn 14 for Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) saw the Italian miss a chance to improve his laptime, the the rookie nevertheless took P12.
Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team) qualified in P13, with rookie Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) making a lunge during the final minutes and taking P14, just in front of RW Racing GP’s Axel Pons as the Spaniard rounds out the first fifteen.
The Moto2™ race kicks off on Sunday at 12:20 (GMT +2).
Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) kept up his stunning pace from Saturday morning in qualifying, searing around MotorLand Aragon for a 1:58.067 to take pole by over three tenths – before then crashing out when another two tenths up on his final run; rider ok. Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) – the pole position record holder – lines up in P2, with teammate Aron Canet completing the front row despite a highside in FP3.
After Martin’s crash, there was another incident that affected many after a highside for Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) set off a domino effect throughout a train of riders, including Joan Mir (Leopard Racing). Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) was the first to take avoiding action, with Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing), Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and the Championship leader all caught up in the incident.
Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) took fourth, just ahead of wildcard and current FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship leader Dennis Foggia (Sky Junior Team VR46 Riders Academy). Points leader Mir was sixth fastest, caught out by the late drama, with John McPhee (British Talent Team) having a solid session in seventh.
Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) was eighth quickest and bounced back in style from an FP3 crash, with Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) completing the top ten.
Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) was eleventh, ahead of Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team), late crasher Adam Norrodin and passenger in the incident Fabio Di Giannantonio. Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) locked out the fastest fifteen.
*Pending review by Race Direction, some grid positions may be liable to change.
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