Despite a small crash in the FP3 session, reigning World Champion Marc Marquez, secured his tenth pole – from twelve this season – for tomorrow’s Great Britain GP, whilst Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo have also qualified on the front row.
Marc Marquez: “It was a difficult qualifying session, because it was hard to get heat into the front tyre. However, I am happy with pole position – more than anything because of how comfortable I am feeling this weekend. I am finding it easy to set a fast pace, and this is important at this track, which is bumpy and long. Let’s hope that we have a sunny day tomorrow, or at least that it doesn’t rain, and we will try to fight for the win right from the first lap.”
The pole time of 2’00.829 for Marquez on his final flying lap (six of seven) was just 0.138s off his record lap at Silverstone last year (2’00.691). Team-mate, Dani Pedrosa missed out on a front start by just 0.289s with his best lap of 2’01.464 on his final flying lap of seven.
Dovizioso (Ducati Team) made good use of the softer option qualifying tyre again to trail by 0.311s in second place.
Despite his troubles on Friday to get on the pace and to get the best from this weekend’s tyre allocation Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will take third spot on the grid.
Andrea Dovizioso: “It was another good qualifying and another good weekend. Every practice we were towards the front with the medium tyre, our race tyre. I think we’re closer to the fastest rider this weekend and we have to wait for the weather. But starting from the first row is always important so we can try to fight with the top guys.”
Jorge Lorenzo: I’m very satisfied and very proud of my lap time. I pushed to the limit and I improved six tenths of a second on the last lap compared to my first try. The soft tyre on the front is much better for our bike. I would like to use it tomorrow, but it will be a long race, so we have to improve the bike a little bit more during the warm-up to be more comfortable with the harder tyres.
“This year the engine and the clutch are different. I don’t have the same feeling, making it difficult to make similar starts to last year. Starting from third place of the grid is not the best position, because you are too much on the inside for the first corner, but it is still better to be on the first row than to be on the second. It’s a good position. Let’s try to improve the bike for tomorrow and try to stay with the front group during the race.”
Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) impressed once more on his Open Forward-Yamaha in fourth, qualifying ahead of factory equipped riders Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP).
Dani Pedrosa: “Today was a positive day and we have taken a step forward from yesterday with the setup. The tyres also performed better today than in the previous practice sessions. However, I think that we still need to fine-tune the setup to get the tyres performing even better. Qualifying didn’t go completely smoothly, but we were able to put in a good lap. It will be important to get a good start tomorrow and find a strong pace in the race.”
Valentino Rossi: “I’m a lot less worried and more satisfied about today, because in both practice sessions we were more competitive and we can fight for top positions. We made good progress with the bike compared to yesterday. Unfortunately I’m not 100% happy about my qualifying, because I could do better. I could have had a little bit more potential to stay at the front, but starting from the second row is not a disaster. It’s good for the race.
“We have to fix some small problems that I have under braking and corner entry and try to improve for tomorrow. Yesterday we didn’t balance the bike well and I had big troubles with the front tyre, so when I entered the corner I suffered a lot with all the bumps. This circuit has a lot of them, but today the team improved the set up and the balance a lot and we improved the lap times a lot too.”
Team-mates Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro (both Monster Yamaha Tech3) will line up on row three in seventh and eighth respectively. Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) ended up in ninth place, having escaped unscathed after two crashes earlier in the day.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) also crashed, in his case towards the end of Q2, leaving him tenth on the grid. Colleagues Scott Redding and Alvaro Bautista (both GO&FUN Honda Gresini) made it through from Q1 but could only qualify 11th and 12th.
Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing) and Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) missed out on Q2 in third and fifth in Q1, leaving them 13th and 15th respectively on the grid.
A crash towards the end of Q1 for Leon Camier (Drive M7 Aspar) hindered his progress, but the Briton walked away unhurt, qualifying 18th.
MotoGP Qualifying Results
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 2m 0.829s [Lap 6/7] 323km/h (Top Speed)
2. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 1.140s +0.311s [5/5] 326km/h
3. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 2m 1.175s +0.346s [6/7] 320km/h
4. Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 2m 1.448s +0.619s [5/6] 315km/h
5. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 2m 1.464s +0.635s [6/7] 323km/h
6. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 2m 1.550s +0.721s [7/7] 323km/h
7. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 1.593s +0.764s [6/7] 322km/h
8. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 2m 1.747s +0.918s [6/7] 322km/h
9. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 2m 1.973s +1.144s [7/7] 325km/h
10. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 2.064s +1.235s [2/5] 321km/h
11. Scott Redding GBR Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R)* 2m 2.116s +1.287s [2/7] 310km/h
12. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 3.618s +2.789s [5/5] 320km/h
13. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 3.046s
14. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 2m 3.206s
15. Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 3.407s
16. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 3.563s
17. Alex De Angelis RSM NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 2m 3.686s
18. Leon Camier GBR Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 3.696s
19. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing Project (ART) 2m 4.755s
20. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 2m 4.836s
21. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Avintia) 2m 4.957s
22. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Avintia)* 2m 5.451s
23. Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART)* 2m 6.106
Moto3 – Top spot for Rins
Alex Rins (pictured below), will get away from the front of the Moto3 grid on Sunday having taken pole, ahead of Niccolo Antonelli and Alex Marquez in QP at Silverstone.
Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) produced a superb 2’13.112 lap to set a new pole position record time and grab the front position on the grid for race 12 of the year, ahead of Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN), by 0.112s.
Rins’ teammate Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) held provisional pole with ten minutes to go, but was eventually 0.338s behind his colleague on the front row.
Meanwhile, the second row positions were secured by Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3), Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) and Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold).
Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing), standings leader Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team) will occupy the third row.
Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) completed the top ten, whilst Juanfran Guevara (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) was unlucky to slip to 11th after a mechanical problem. Local rider Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) rounded out the fourth row in 12th.
Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) had a difficult session and qualified down in 22nd. Early in the QP wild card Jasper Iwema (KRP Abbink Racing) went down and limped away. He qualified 28th whilst fellow wild card Joe Irving (Redline Motorcycles/KTM UK) was 32nd.
Moto3 Qualifying Results
1. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 2m 13.112s
2. Niccolò Antonelli ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 2m 13.224s
3. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 2m 13.450s
4. Enea Bastianini ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 2m 13.711s
5. Brad Binder RSA Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 2m 13.768s
6. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 2m 13.855s
7. Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 2m 13.888s
8. Jack Miller AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 2m 14.184s
9. Isaac Viñales SPA Calvo Team (KTM) 2m 14.324s
10. Niklas Ajo FIN Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 2m 14.384s