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Aragon GP Qualifying: E Viva España!

September 24, 2016 - Races
Aragon GP Qualifying: E Viva España!

The grey of Friday at MotorLand Aragon turned powder blue on Saturday, as qualifying day brought warmer temperatures and shining late September sun for the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon. Q2’s pre-session favourite for pole was unquestionably Marc Marquez after the Repsol Honda rider was fastest by some margin in both FP3 and FP4 on ominous form, and the number 93 turned promise into pole position in spectacular style to head the timesheets by an incredible gap of six tenths. Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) complete the front row as MotoGP™ gets back on their home turf.

FP4 saw PULL&BEAR Aspar rider Yonny Hernandez into the top ten, but the Colombian sadly wasn’t able to replicate the performance in Q1 as Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich), Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini duo Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl joined the South American in the battle for graduation to Q2. Petrucci eventually topped the session and Bradl impressed to get an Aprilia through to Q2 for the second successive race – after Bautista managed the same at Misano World Circuit last time out. Alex Lowes (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), replacing injured Bradley Smith for the third time in a row, had a crash in FP3 and subsequently decided to stay off track on Saturday afternoon – with a decision on whether to race left for Sunday morning.

With Q2 underway Marquez hit first, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) slotting into P2 early on and reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) suddenly pulling a laptime out the bag to take a provisional front row. Looking to improve in the second run, Repsol Honda rider Marquez’  first flying lap proved to be his fastest – just shy of a 1:46 lap of the 5.1km venue.

As the second run got underway, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) leapt up into P2 before former teammate Cal Crutchlow then lost his Honda into Turn 1. It was then Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) who moved up into second, as Friday’s fastest Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) suffered a crash and saw his session come to an early end.

The last minute drama wasn’t over there, as Lorenzo again improved his laptime in the final minutes to knock Dovizioso back off the front row, completing the all-Spanish top three on home turf behind Marquez and Viñales.

‘DesmoDovi’ heads up row two ahead of late crasher Crutchlow, with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi further down the timesheets in P6 to complete the second row, despite proving fastest Yamaha on Friday.

Pedrosa starts from seventh after his crash – one place higher than his grid position ahead of victory at Misano World Circuit – with second Suzuki rider Aleix Espargaro behind the ‘Baby Samurai’ in P8. Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) just beat teammate Scott Redding to the third row, with the Pramac pair pushing Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) down to P11. Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completed the Q2 graduates in P12.

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Q1:

Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) and Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) were the fastest men in Q1 at MotorLand Aragon, taking the honours to move through into Q2.

FP4 saw PULL&BEAR Aspar rider Yonny Hernandez into the top ten, but the Colombian sadly wasn’t able to replicate the performance in Q1 as Petrucci, Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini duo Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl joined the South American in the battle for graduation. Petrucci eventually topped the session and Bradl impressed to get an Aprilia through to Q2 for the second successive race – after Bautista managed the same at Misano World Circuit last time out. Alex Lowes (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), replacing injured Bradley Smith for the third time in a row, had a crash in FP3 and subsequently decided to stay off track on Saturday afternoon – with a decision on whether to race left for Sunday morning.

Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) just missed out in P3 in Q1, set to start the race from P13, ahead of Bautista and PULL&BEAR Aspar’s Hernandez and teammate Eugene Laverty. Michele Pirro (Ducati Team) suffered a crash in the session and will line up P17, ahead of Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Tito Rabat and Nicky Hayden. Hayden, replacing injured Jack Miller for one race, has made solid progress in his limited time on the bike. Loris Baz, returning to action after injury at Avintia Racing, was the last of the timed competitors with Alex Lowes yet to decide on his participation.

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