Saturday afternoon’s Q2 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya ended with Dani Pedrosa securing pole position, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez on row one for Sunday’s race – with Marquez suffering a late crash in the session.
At his home event, Pedrosa took his first pole since the 2013 Catalan Grand Prix with a 1:40.985s lap in the Barcelona-Catalunya heat and, in doing so, the Repsol Honda rider ended Marquez’ successive pole run.
Following his fascinating battle with Marquez at Mugello, Lorenzo qualified in second place and will be looking forward to fighting the Honda riders again at a track where the Mallorcan has a strong record and has won the last two MotoGP™ races.
Marquez walked away from his first crash of the year after losing the front end at turn 1 towards the end of the session. The young MotoGP™ World Champion therefore starts third on the grid, his first non-pole result since Motegi last year.
German rider Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), who himself suffered two big crashes at Mugello, qualified fourth after looking sharp in practice earlier in the day.
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) admits qualifying is not currently his strongest point, but he equaled his second best Q2 result of 2014 so far in fifth, having qualified 10th last time out in Mugello.
Another home rider Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) was delighted with his qualifying effort as he completed row two, just 0.323s behind Pedrosa.
Row three will feature Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing).
The fourth row will comprise Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), after Iannone and Bautista made it through from Q1 as spots of rain threatened to disrupt Q2.
The conditions stayed dry but Bautista suffered a big Q2 highside at turn 7 and was stretchered away, though he appeared to be O.K.
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