Valencia MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo on pole as Valentino Rossi crashes

Jorge Lorenzo took pole position for MotoGP's title-deciding Valencia Grand Prix by nearly half a second, while title rival Valentino Rossi crashed at the end of qualifying

Valencia MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo on pole as Valentino Rossi crashes

Regardless of where he qualified, championship leader Rossi was guaranteed a back-of-the-grid start due to the penalty triggered by his clash with Marc Marquez at Sepang.

Rossi initially appeared not to be pushing in Q2 and sat down in 12th, but then had a low-side fall at turn eight on his final lap.

Meanwhile Lorenzo, who has to overhaul a seven-point deficit to Rossi in Sunday's race, produced a record 1m30.011s lap to beat Marquez to pole by 0.488s.

Marquez did his utmost to respond, but his ragged final lap was not an improvement. Dani Pedrosa completes the front row on the second Honda.

Aleix Espargaro came through from Q1 and then thrust the lead Suzuki to fourth on the grid ahead of British duo Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith.

Despite Andrea Iannone's practice pace, Ducati had to settle for seventh and ninth with the young Italian and his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, split by Pol Espargaro.

Maverick Vinales was only 11th behind Danilo Petrucci on the second Suzuki, but that was a remarkable achievement after a violent Q1 crash for the Spaniard.

Vinales had landed heavily on his back, and was nearly hit by Nicky Hayden - who produced a masterful avoidance manoeuvre to unsure he did not run over the rookie sliding across the track.

Yet within moments of landing, Vinales was running back to get his spare bike, and he duly went second to team-mate Espargaro in Q1 and earned a place in the pole shootout.

Ducati's additional runner, Michele Pirro, had to settle for 13th, just ahead of Stefan Bradl's Aprilia and Open class title combatants Hector Barbera and Loris Baz.

Hayden was 17th in his final MotoGP qualifying session, putting his Aspar Racing Honda three places ahead of the works-spec version of the struggling Scott Redding, whose last race weekend with Marc VDS is proving miserable so far.

Valencia GP starting grid:

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha 1m30.011s -
2 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m30.499s 0.488s
3 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1m30.516s 0.505s
4 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki Suzuki 1m30.917s 0.906s
5 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1m30.948s 0.937s
6 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 1m31.012s 1.001s
7 Andrea Iannone Ducati Ducati 1m31.056s 1.045s
8 Pol Espargaro Tech 3 Yamaha 1m31.080s 1.069s
9 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m31.245s 1.234s
10 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Racing Ducati 1m31.292s 1.281s
11 Maverick Vinales Suzuki Suzuki 1m31.340s 1.329s
12 Michele Pirro Ducati Ducati 1m31.780s -
13 Stefan Bradl Aprilia Gresini Aprilia 1m31.824s -
14 Hector Barbera Avintia Racing Ducati 1m31.851s -
15 Loris Baz Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 1m31.856s -
16 Nicky Hayden Aspar Honda 1m32.083s -
17 Yonny Hernandez Pramac Racing Ducati 1m32.142s -
18 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia Gresini Aprilia 1m32.282s -
19 Scott Redding Marc VDS Honda 1m32.448s -
20 Jack Miller LCR Honda 1m32.564s -
21 Mike Di Meglio Avintia Racing Ducati 1m32.716s -
22 Anthony West AB Motoracing Honda 1m33.049s -
23 Eugene Laverty Aspar Honda 1m33.066s -
24 Toni Elias Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 1m33.092s -
25 Broc Parkes IodaRacing Project ART/Aprilia 1m33.577s -
26 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m31.471s -


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