Barcelona MotoGP: Aleix Espargaro gives Suzuki first pole since '07

Aleix Espargaro took the top spot for MotoGP's Catalunya Grand Prix at Barcelona ahead of team-mate Maverick Vinales as Suzuki claimed its first pole position since returning to the series

Barcelona MotoGP: Aleix Espargaro gives Suzuki first pole since '07

In a frenetic qualifying session during which the Barcelona MotoGP record fell several times, Espargaro set the fastest time with just three minutes of the session remaining when he beat the record previously set by Jorge Lorenzo.

Vinales slotted in behind his team-mate in the dying moments as Suzuki wrapped up the first two places on a top-class grid for the first time since Kevin Schwantz and Alex Barros did it at Jerez in May 1993 and took its first MotoGP pole since Chris Vermeulen's effort at Assen in June 2007.

Lorenzo wound up in third ahead of Honda's Marc Marquez, who had earlier been the first man to break the Barcelona lap record midway through the session before he was bumped down the order.

Both Lorenzo and Marquez tried to topple the Suzuki pair but could not improve on their final laps.

Andrea Dovizioso moved quietly to fifth and will start ahead of Dani Pedrosa, who was earlier forced to come through Q1 having failed to make the cut for the top 10 fastest times after third practice.

Championship leader Valentino Rossi will start from the third row of the grid once again after finishing seventh, alongside British pair Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow.

Crutchlow had run as high as third early on in the session, but was unable to improve his position as he lost control of his LCR Honda and crashed moments before the chequered flag came out.

Another rider to fall towards the end of qualifying was Pol Espargaro. The Tech 3 rider crashed at Turn 1 and will line up 11th.

Yonny Hernandez rounded out the top 10 on his Pramac Ducati and Andrea Iannone - who came through Q1 alongside Pedrosa - will start from 12th place.

Karel Abraham missed the session having suffered a dislocated toe in a heavy accident during practice four.

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap
1 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki Suzuki 1m40.546s -
2 Maverick Vinales Suzuki Suzuki 1m40.629s 0.083s
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha 1m40.646s 0.100s
4 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m40.754s 0.208s
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m40.907s 0.361s
6 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1m40.928s 0.382s
7 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m41.058s 0.512s
8 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 1m41.068s 0.522s
9 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1m41.195s 0.649s
10 Yonny Hernandez Pramac Racing Ducati 1m41.333s 0.787s
11 Pol Espargaro Tech 3 Yamaha 1m41.385s 0.839s
12 Andrea Iannone Ducati Ducati 1m41.524s 0.978s
13 Hector Barbera Avintia Racing Ducati 1m42.003s -
14 Scott Redding Marc VDS Honda 1m42.029s -
15 Stefan Bradl Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 1m42.053s -
16 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Racing Ducati 1m42.155s -
17 Mike Di Meglio Avintia Racing Ducati 1m42.273s -
18 Nicky Hayden Aspar Honda 1m42.485s -
19 Loris Baz Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 1m42.592s -
20 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia Gresini Aprilia 1m42.600s -
21 Jack Miller LCR Honda 1m42.928s -
22 Eugene Laverty Aspar Honda 1m42.971s -
23 Alex de Angelis IodaRacing Project ART/Aprilia 1m43.601s -
24 Marco Melandri Aprilia Gresini Aprilia 1m44.345s -


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