Jorge Lorenzo got the better of Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso in the fight for pole in MotoGP’s Aragon Grand Prix with Honda’s Marc Marquez only third.
The Yamahas had to go through the first part of qualifying in what continues to be a difficult time for the Japanese manufacturer in the Aragon GP. Maverick Vinales was on top provisionally with Marc VDS Honda’s Franco Morbidelli behind.
The other Yamaha of Valentino Rossi was only fifth after the initial laps with LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami and Tech 3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco between him and a Q2 spot. The order up front remained the same with Vinales and Morbidelli until the final minute.
While Vinales (1m47.823s) made it through, Morbidelli (1m was dumped to third and 13th overall after a late lap from Nakagami (1m47.946s) which put him in second and into Q2. Zarco finished fourth to be 14th for the Sunday’s race.
The Frenchman looked quick but lost out on his final lap due to minor moments in few corners. Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro improved on his last attempt to fifth and 15th overall with KTM’s Bradley Smith in 16th.
Angel Nieto Ducati’s Karel Abraham (1m48.398s) also had a good time to be 17th which pushed Rossi (1m48.627s) to only 18th in his not only the worst performance of 2018 but also since 2006 Assen GP. The Italian couldn’t improve on his final lap due to a mistake.
Tech 3 Yamaha’s Hafizh Syahrin (1m48.975s) also couldn’t improve to find himself in 19th from Marc VDS Honda’s Thomas Luthi (1m48.988s), Aprilia’s Scott Redding (1m49.303s), Avintia Racing Ducati’s Xavier Simeon (1m49.699s) and Jordi Torres (1m50.336s).
Missing from qualifying and for the rest of the weekend will be KTM’s Pol Espargaro after the Spaniard once again broke his collarbone in a crash in the third practice session earlier on Saturday morning.
It was Marquez to be beaten for pole after the Spaniard took provisional pole with a 1m46.960s lap time with Lorenzo second after having a minor moment on his quick lap. LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow slotted in third to be ahead of Dovizioso.
The fight for pole turned ugly at Aragon as games were played around by all the riders trying to get a tow for themselves. Despite the traffic, the two Ducatis and Marquez were still improving on their final laps.
Dovizioso pushed Marquez to second with the Spaniard then coming through but unable to improve due to a moment in Turn 12. It looked like Dovizioso had it but Lorenzo (1m46.881s) improved further to snatch it away and score his third successive pole.
He led a Ducati 1-2 with Dovizioso (1m46.895s) in second – only 0.014s away as Marquez (1m46.960s) had to settle for third with Crutchlow (1m47.146s) keeping fourth despite a late crash. Andrea Iannone (1m47.169s) did well to put Suzuki in fifth.
The second Honda of Dani Pedrosa (1m47.224s) finished sixth, only 0.055s behind Iannone as Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci (1m47.351s) slotted in seventh from Angel Nieto Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista (1m47.678s).
He finished only 0.059s ahead of Suzuki’s Alex Rins (1m47.737s). Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller (1m47.792s) finished 10th from Vinales (1m47.810s) as both were unable to improve on their second run like Nakagami (1m48.284s) who completed the Top 12.