ALCANIZ, Spain – Marc Marquez brought his pole position count to an even half-dozen on the season during Saturday’s MotoGP qualifying session at Motorland Aragon, earning the top starting spot ahead of the Aragon Grand Prix.
Marquez posted a lap of 1:47.117 around the 5.344 km (3.321 mile) circuit, notching his 36th career premier class pole and 64th top qualifying effort all-time in grand prix motorcycle racing by six tenths of a second over talented sophomore Maverick Vinales.
“I’m very happy with how the day went, especially with the pace we had in FP4, which was very good,” said the Repsol Honda rider and two-time world champion. “Today we found a good setup for the bike and we were able to improve on yesterday. In qualifying I was very comfortable on my first lap, as it is when the tire has its maximum potential, and I also pushed on my second lap but not as close to the limit.”
“With today’s temperatures we were able to work very well with the front end. Hopefully the good weather continues tomorrow. If it gets colder, we would have to reassess the front tire choice. Regardless, I’m satisfied; like every year, I feel very good at this track and I hope we can finish well on Sunday.”
Vinales timed in second for Team Suzuki Ecstar at a clip of 1:47.748, his best qualifying effort of the season.
“Today we did a really good job,” Vinales smiled. “We improved from yesterday and found an effective time attack that resulted in the second grid position. I feel consistent and efficient, although I still feel we can find something to further improve. Tomorrow, the race will be very hard, so it’s important to try all we can to make a good race. Tires will be important; they will drop their performance a lot in the race … so it will be important to preserve them.”
Completing the front row was reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo, who qualified third for Movistar Yamaha at 1:47.778.
Andrea Dovizioso ran as high as second for the Ducati Team during the early stages of Q2 but faded to fourth by the end of the session, narrowly edging out Cal Crutchlow’s Honda for the position before Crutchlow crashed his bike in turn one.
Nine-time champion Valentino Rossi qualified sixth to slot in on the outside of row two.
Marquez’s Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa posted the seventh-fastest lap before crashing his mount as well, with Suzuki’s Aleix Espargaro and Octo Pramac teammates Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding completing the top 10.
Pol Espargaro and Stefan Bradl completed the list of drivers who advanced through to Q2.
The Aragon Motorcycle Grand Prix goes green at 2 p.m. local time on Sunday.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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