Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo fought a nail-bitingly tense duel for pole position, taking first and second respectively during qualifying at Jerez.
Rossi looked in scintillating form all day, recording the fastest time, a low 1’49s lap, in FP3 this morning, and as the last rider to take to the track at the start of QP2, he had clear tarmac in front of him and was out of the box. His first flying lap of 1’39.761s gave him initial third place.
Over his next few attempts he improved his time to a 1’39.463s but he remained in provisional third position as he headed into the pits with five-and-a-half minutes remaining.
Less than a minute later the Doctor was back on his way and ready to step up his pace. Despite there only being a few minutes left of the session he was not rushed by the clock and calmly waited until after the flag had already come out to drop into the 1’38s with a 1’38.736 and take his first pole position since last year’s Dutch Grand Prix in Assen.
The Doctor said: “We worked a lot because last year we struggled during qualifying. This year, with the Michelin tyres, I feel better and I already started on the front row two times, but pole position is something different, especially here in Jerez. I knew I could be competitive, but during the last races we had some problems and I made a mistake in Austin. We didn’t take the results we expected, so we have to start doing so now. For sure tomorrow will be very hard with Lorenzo and Marquez, but we are there and we can fight.”
This pole put Rossi in joint first place with team-mate Lorenzo in the most pole position rankings, as they both hold 62 first place Grand Prix starts over all classes.
- Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 38.736s [Lap 8/8] 287km/h (Top Speed)
- Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 38.858s +0.122s [6/8] 288km/h
- Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 38.891s +0.155s [8/8] 286km/h
- Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) 1m 39.580s +0.844s [7/8] 292km/h
- Maverick Viñales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 39.581s +0.845s [8/8] 285km/h
- Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 39.588s +0.852s [7/7] 282km/h
- Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 39.678s +0.942s [7/8] 287km/h
- Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 39.720s +0.984s [7/8] 288km/h
- Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 39.742s +1.006s [6/8] 290km/h
- Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 39.881s +1.145s [6/8] 287km/h
- Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) 1m 40.054s +1.318s [6/6] 294km/h
- Loris Baz FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 40.184s +1.448s [5/5] 284km/h
- Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 40.239s 285km/h
- Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 40.242s 287km/h
- Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 40.292s 287km/h
- Yonny Hernandez COL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 40.335s 287km/h
- Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 40.595s 288km/h
- Stefan Bradl GER Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 40.835s 281km/h
- Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 40.968s 284km/h
- Michele Pirro ITA Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 40.985s 289km/h
- Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)* 1m 41.039s 280km/h