MotoGP Aragon: Lorenzo beats Dovizioso, Marquez to third-straight pole

Jorge Lorenzo took his fourth pole of the 2018 MotoGP season at Aragon, edging out Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso by 0.014 seconds, while Valentino Rossi could only qualify 18th

MotoGP Aragon: Lorenzo beats Dovizioso, Marquez to third-straight pole

Lorenzo and Dovizioso both set their fastest times on their last runs, when almost the entire Q2 field bunched together in one long train as multiple riders cruised for tows.

Honda's Marc Marquez had set the pace up to that point, concluding the opening runs with a best time of 1m46.960s to sit just over a tenth clear of Lorenzo.

But Marquez was one of those to lose out in the final shuffle as he did not improve after a small mistake at Turn 12, slipping to third as first Dovizioso and then Lorenzo profited from the slipstream to go quicker.

In the end, Lorenzo's 1m46.881s narrowly gave him a third pole in a row over Dovizioso, with Marquez 0.065s down in third.

Cal Crutchlow managed to hang on to fourth despite crashing his LCR Honda at Turn 12 in the closing stages, and will lead Suzuki's Andrea Iannone and the second works Honda of Dani Pedrosa on the second row on Sunday.

Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) was seventh ahead of the Nieto Ducati of Alvaro Bautista, Suzuki rider Alex Rins and Jack Miller (Pramac), who was not part of the main group of riders.

The top two from Q1, Yamaha's Maverick Vinales and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda), completed the Q2 order, with Vinales appearing to abandon his final lap.

While Vinales managed to escape Q1 by topping the session, his Yamaha team-mate Rossi was only eighth-fastest, marking his worst qualifying performance since the 2006 Dutch TT.

The Italian was only fifth-fastest after his opening run, half a second slower than Vinales, and then in the closing minutes of the session he coasted around looking for clear space on-track and simply ran out of time to post a hot lap.

It means he starts 18th, his lowest grid slot since he was sent to the back of the grid for the 2015 title decider at Valencia.

Nakagami managed to go second-quickest behind Vinales, ousting Honda rookie Franco Morbidelli (Marc VDS) from a spot in Q2.

Morbidelli will therefore head up the fifth row ahead of Johann Zarco's Tech3 Yamaha and the lead Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro.

Bradley Smith, KTM's sole runner again after Pol Espargaro's practice crash on Saturday morning, will start 16th ahead of Karel Abraham's Nieto Ducati and Rossi's Yamaha.

Jordi Torres brought up the rear in Q1 and will make his MotoGP race debut from 23rd on the grid on his Avintia Ducati.

Qualifying result

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap
1 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati Ducati 1m46.881s -
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m46.895s 0.014s
3 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m46.960s 0.079s
4 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 1m47.146s 0.265s
5 Andrea Iannone Suzuki Suzuki 1m47.169s 0.288s
6 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1m47.224s 0.343s
7 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m47.351s 0.470s
8 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m47.678s 0.797s
9 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 1m47.737s 0.856s
10 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m47.792s 0.911s
11 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 1m48.284s 1.403s
12 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m48.052s 1.171s
13 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 1m48.181s 1.300s
14 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 1m47.810s 0.929s
15 Bradley Smith KTM KTM 1m48.216s 1.335s
16 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m48.398s 1.517s
17 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m48.627s 1.746s
18 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m48.975s 2.094s
19 Franco Morbidelli MVDS Honda Honda 1m48.009s 1.128s
20 Thomas Luthi MVDS Honda Honda 1m48.988s 2.107s
21 Scott Redding Aprilia Aprilia 1m49.303s 2.422s
22 Xavier Simeon Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m49.699s 2.818s
23 Jordi Torres Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m50.336s 3.455s

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Jorge Lorenzo , Andrea Dovizioso , Alex Marquez , Marc Marquez
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Jamie Klein
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