MotoGP 2017 – Round Four – Jerez
Repsol Honda rider heads the grid for the first time since Sepang 2015
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) took an incredible pole position in qualifying for the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, taking to the top in the final minutes of the session and teammate Marc Marquez unable to depose him on his last lap.
Pedrosa was fastest on Friday and on Saturday in FP3, and is on the charge at his first home race of the year – where he is already a multiple winner. Behind Marquez is Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), completing the front row in a Honda 1-2-3.
Dani Pedrosa – P1
“This was probably one of the best poles of my career because it was a really hard battle. It was a strategic end of the session with Marc there right behind me, so for a moment I wasn’t sure if I should push or not. There was no choice anyway, so I just went for it. I’m very happy because our main target for the GP was to be on the front row. The feeling was really good, and it has been good all weekend, so I told myself, Okay, let’s try it. It has been a while since I’ve led in qualifying; I’ve struggled a lot last season so I’m very happy with today. Thanks to the team for the hard work, and I’m also happy for Honda. It looks like we’re doing really well so let’s focus for tomorrow and do the best we can!”
Marc Marquez – P2
“Dani has been really strong and fast today, and all weekend honestly. For that reason, I tried to follow him during the final laps in qualifying, to learn what he was doing differently! I was able to do a very good lap time and that was my target, to get a front-row start because I’ve been struggling a bit here with the fast lap. I’m happy because it looks like we’re getting better and better. Today in FP4 we were able to set a very good pace and we’re very satisfied with that. Normally this circuit is not one of the best for our bike and for my riding style, but it looks like our plans are working well. We’re improving in the areas we’re working on, and that’s also important in view of the coming races at the other European tracks. Anyway, now we must think about tomorrow; race day is always different but we’ll try to manage well.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Viñales took fourth to head up the second row ahead of Q1 graduate and comeback king Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), with rookie Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in sixth.
Maverick Vinales – P4
“I think today was good. We worked quite hard and tried to find a good set-up. Honestly, the right side of the tyre is really good, but when I go onto the left side I suddenly have a lot of wheelspin. We have to check it out this night and work really hard for tomorrow‘s warm-up. We still have to decide on the tyre options. We did many laps on the medium tyre and the lap times weren‘t so bad, so we have to continue like that. Like we did today, we have to work a little bit more than we usually do during the warm-up, so I think tomorrow it‘s important to find a good set-up, especially for the left side.”
Fourteen world titles start the Spanish GP from the third row, with Championship leader Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in seventh just ahead of Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo only 0.002 back. Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) is ninth in another solid showing for the German rookie.
Valentino Rossi – P7
“I think today wasn‘t so bad, because we worked a lot and improved the feeling with the bike. My pace is not bad. We still have to work, especially on the corner entry. I‘m not fully happy about the results in the qualifying. I will start from the third row, which is always difficult and I think we could have done better, but we‘re still working on it. We‘re not at 100% yet, we need to improve.”
Jorge Lorenzo – P8
“Overall today’s sensations were good and for the first time this season I had a pace that was similar to those riders ahead of me. To be honest, in qualifying I hoped to improve on this morning’s result a bit, but for some reason I didn’t have good grip with the rear tyre and was unable to accelerate well out of the corners. At any rate for me today was one of the best days I have had in this first part of the season from every point of view, and this is really good news for us. It means that we are maintaining good progression and tomorrow we’ll see if we can come away with a good result in the race. The most important thing is my consistency and that I feel strong on the bike.”
Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) backed up his Friday pace with direct entry to Q2 and a top ten start despite a crash, with Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) in eleventh and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) in P12.
Miller is unconcerned to be starting on the fourth row having focussed intensely on his race set-up during practice with tomorrow’s 27-lap encounter set to test both rider and tyre endurance.
Jack Miller – P10
“My focus this weekend has been on putting in a lot of laps on races tyres ready for another top ten finish and that’s what we concentrated on in practice. In qualifying I felt really comfortable and tenth on the grid is positive for me because it was a really fast session and I did my fastest ever lap at Jerez. We are in good shape for the race tomorrow.”
Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) starts P13 from Q1, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and a stunning display from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro to complete the top fifteen, just ahead of teammate Bradley Smith.
The lights go out for the incredible Spanish GP at Jerez on Sunday at 14:00 (GMT +2) – with Pedrosa on pole for the first time since Sepang 2015.
MotoGP Qualifying Results
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1’38.249
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1’38.298
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda 1’38.453
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’38.677
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’38.744
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’38.861
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’38.908
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team 1’38.910
- FOLGER Jonas 94 GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’39.108
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’39.125
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR Octo Pramac Racing 1’39.152
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’39.400
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Octo Pramac Racing 1’39.090
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team 1’39.255
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’39.282
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’39.321
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team 1’39.462
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’39.564
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team 1’39.678
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA Reale Avintia Racing 1’39.824
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Reale Avintia Racing 1’39.906
- LOWES Sam 22 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’40.213
- TSUDA Takuya 22 JPN Suzuki Test Team 1’40.386
Alex Márquez (SPA) takes his first pole position in Moto2 ever
2014 Moto3 World Champion Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) will start his home GP at Jerez from his first ever pole position with a new record, leading teammate and Championship leader by Franco Morbidelli by 0.046 to make it a clean sweep as fastest in every session so far. The rider from Cervera also suffered some contact ahead of his final lap in the session, with Tech 3 Racing’s Remy Gardner clipping the Spaniard’s rear wheel and giving him a flat tyre. Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) took a stunning front row for Suter in P3, getting back at the front in Moto2 after solid pace all weekend and a top five in the race last time out.
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was impressive once again to head up the second row, with veteran Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) in fifth and compatriot Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) taking P6 as top rookie.
Xavi Vierge continues his stunning form on the Tech 3 Racing machine in P7, ahead of Championship contender Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia). Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) took ninth despite a crash, with Axel Pons (RW Racing GP) another crasher but completing the top ten.
Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team) lines up in P11, ahead of a tough session for Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) as the Swiss veteran aims to move forward. Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing), Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) and Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) lock out the fastest fifteen.
Moto2 Qualifying Results
1 – Álex Márquez (SPA – Kalex) 1’42.080
2 – Franco Morbidelli (ITA – Kalex) + 0.046
3 – Dominique Aegerter (SWI – Suter) + 0.186
Martin smashes the lap record in Jerez
Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) broke Jack Miller’s record from 2014 in qualifying for the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, setting a 1:46.004 on his penultimate run on clear track to top the timesheets by over four tenths. Compatriot Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) lines up in P2, with Texas winner Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) completing the front row.
Last year’s polesitter Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) heads up the second row in fourth, ahead of a career best for Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) in fifth. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) locks out Row 2.
Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was another putting in a best ever as he starts in seventh, ahead of Sky Racing Team VR46’s Andrea Migno. Championship leader Joan Mir had crossed the line to take an initial P4 for Leopard Racing, but then had that laptime cancelled for exceeding track limits and will instead start in ninth on the third row.
Darryn Binder (Platinum Bay Real Estate) impressed in P10, ahead of some more established names: Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team) in P11 and P12.
After a tougher start to the season, Jerez has looked sunnier for Mahindra and qualifying proved no different, as Albert Arenas (Mahindra Northgate Aspar) put in a solid lap to start P13 in his home race, ahead of Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and top rookie Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team) completing the top fifteen.
Philipp Oettl was one crasher in the session, and the Südmetall Schedl GP Racing unfortunately suffered a broken collarbone – therefore forced to sit out the rest of the weekend.
Moto3 Qualifying Results
1 – Jorge Martin (SPA – Honda) 1’46.004
2 – Aron Canet (SPA – Honda) +0.437
3 – Romano Fenati (ITA – Honda) + 0.514