JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, Spain – Independent rider Cal Crutchlow continued his strong form at Circuito de Jerez on Saturday, capturing the MotoGP pole position and setting the track lap record in the process.
Crutchlow toured the the 4.428-kilometer course in 1 minute, 37.653 seconds with his LCR Honda Castrol mount and will lead the field when the lights go out for Sunday’s Gran Premio Red Bull de España.
Saturday marked Crutchlow’s first MotoGP pole since the 2016 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Saturday’s qualifying sheets looked very similar to the practice order from earlier in the weekend, with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa slotting in second behind Crutchlow once again after a lap of 1:37.912, despite his continued recovery from a broken wrist suffered in Argentina.
Johann Zarco was third-fastest for Monster Yamaha Tech 3, followed by former lap record-holder and Ducati Team rider Jorge Lorenzo and the second Repsol Honda of reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez.
The Suzuki Ecstar pair of Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone were sixth and seventh, respectively, with points leader Andrea Dovizioso, Danilo Petrucci and Valentino Rossi completing the top 10 qualifiers.
Maverick Viñales starts a disappointing 11th on the grid with the sister Movistar Yamaha to Rossi’s bike.
The top 12 riders in qualifying were within eight tenths of a second of the pole time.