The sun continued to beat down as MotoGP™ World Championship bikes roared out of pit lane for Q2. With an air temperature of 25.5°C and a ground temperature of 42.5°C, conditions were ideal for the forthcoming battle for pole position at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) quickly set the best time of the weekend, becoming the first rider to ever set a 1’43 lap around the new layout on a Grand Prix motorcycle.
The Catalan GP is home to all three riders, making for a very special front row. Dani Pedrosa returns to the front row for the first time since the Valencia GP in 2015, having not started higher than fourth so far in 2016. This ends what had been Pedrosa’s longest run without a front row start since his rookie season in 2006. A 1’44.307 saw Pedrosa just able to hold onto the front row 0.015s ahead of fourth place.
Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) was a surprise in fourth after advancing from the Q1 session. Not since the Italian GP in 2012 has Barbera started a MotoGP™ race inside the top six.
0.002s back on Barbera was Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who had been unable to crack the top three since the new layout was introduced. Like Lorenzo he is having some difficulties with the new layout, the Yamaha preferring longer, faster corners as opposed to the more stop-start nature of the new course. Even in fifth, Rossi was only 0.017s off a front row start.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team), Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) formed the remainder of the top ten.