Honda are completely dominating the field for the first European round of the championship. Dani Pedrosa has topped the time sheets in the first three free practice sessions and managed to translate that into his first pole position of the season, ahead of team mate Marc Marquez and the satellite Honda of Cal Crutchlow.
In Q1, (which included the likes of Andrea Dovizioso, Andrea Iannone, Aleix Espargaro and Danilo Petrucci) there was a massive moment during the closing minutes of the session from Iannone, which forced him to abort his fast lap. Just as it looked as if it was all over for him, he found his rhythm again and stuck it on top, pulling himself through to Q2 with Aleix Espargaro. A hugely notable performance from the factory KTM’s, as they finished in 5th and 6th during Q1, and have been improving all weekend.
On to Q2, and it was here where the Honda’s were really let loose. A small crash for Aleix Espargaro saw him qualify in 12th – still not bad for the struggling Aprilia.
It is no secret that the factory Yamaha’s have been struggling this weekend. They’ve been having issues with grip, and neither Rossi or Vinales have managed to set a spectacular time. Vinales qualified in 4th which isn’t bad at all, but he was visibly unhappy when he returned to the pits. Rossi ended up qualifying in 7th.
And finally, one last notable performance from Jorge Lorenzo. He seems to have found his rhythm on the Ducati that he has been struggling with so much since signing for them. After a cracking set of free practice sessions, Lorenzo will start from the third row of the grid in 8th position, behind Valentino Rossi.
In Moto3, Gresini Racing’s Jorge Martin took an effortless pole, smashing Jack Miller’s lap record which has stood for three years! Aron Canet qualified in 2nd, and COTA winner Romano Fenati will start from 3rd on the grid.
It was a disaster for John McPhee, who clearly struggled within the session. Later, he took to Twitter to offer an explanation. He said: “Combination of bad luck and bad tyre choice is what happened today. Definitely not my pace.” The Brit will start from 26th on the grid.
Finally Moto2, and we witnessed a spectacular performance from Alex Marquez. He set the pace early on in the session and nobody on the grid was able to take the top spot off him. Only team mate Franco Morbidelli (who has taken all three race wins so far) could come close. Once again, a fantastic effort from the Marc VDS team sees Marquez on pole with Morbidelli in second. The front row will be rounded out by Dominique Aegerter.
But all eyes were on Danny Kent this weekend. It was announced that he has split from the Kiefer Racing Moto2 team, which has raised concerns on where he will go next with his racing career. Speaking to BT Sport, his manager said how he had spoken to teams in the paddock and had even branched out to BSB and WSBK. But he was thrown a lifeline by Red Bull KTM’s Aki Ajo, and Kent will now be testing the Moto3 bike in Le Mans next week.
Catch all the action from Jerez tomorrow on BT Sport!
MotoGP Qualifying results (top 10):
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – 1:38.249s
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – 1:38.298s
Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda – 1:38.453s
Maverick Vinales, Movistar Yamaha – 1:38.677s
Andrea Iannone, Team Suzuki Ecstar – 1:38.744
Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1:38.861s
Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha – 1:38.908s
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team – 1:38.910s
Jonas Folger, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1:39.108s
Jack Miller, E G 0,0 Marc VDS – 1:39.125s
Moto3 Qualifying results (top 5):
Jorge Martin, Del Conca Gresini Moto3 – 1’46.004s
Aron Canet, Estrella Galicia 0,0 – 1’46.441s
Romano Fenati, Marinelli Rivacold Snipers – 1’46.518s
Nicolo Bulega, SKY Racing Team VR46 – 1’46.655s
Marcos Ramirez, Platinum Bay Real Estate – 1’46.700s
Moto2 Qualifying results (top 5):
Alex Marquez, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’42.080s
Franco Morbidelli, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’42.126s
Dominique Aegerter, Kiefer Racing – 1’42.312s
Miguel Olivera, Red Bull KTM Ajo – 1’42.409s
Mattia Pasini, Italtrans Racing Team – 1’42.598s