ALCANIZ, Spain – In a dry qualifying session that proved thrilling until the end at the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who snatched a close-fought pole position for tomorrow’s race.
After nothing but wet sessions so far, Lorenzo put in a strong performance in the dry with a time just under the mid 1.49s, which was sufficient to oust Repsol Honda Team’s Pedrosa into second on the grid, who did well to recover from an early crash.
“I feel happy, I really thought Cal would take pole position because his lap time was really quick but finally we managed to improve our lap time with the last qualifying tire,” Lorenzo said. “It’s important to be on the front row in pole position but tomorrow is what counts, we have to do a lot of laps and it’s going to be a long race. Let’s see how the weather is, we all hope it’s not going to rain, it’s much better if it’s dry.”
Rounding out the front row is Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who despite taking a tumble in the wet this morning, looked certain to take pole until the final minutes when the Spanish duo pounced.
Yamaha’s Ben Spies heads the second row in fourth after the American put in another strong performance. Alongside him in fifth is LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, who was fastest out of the blocks in qualifying, yet could not maintain the pace of the factory machines and Crutchlow’s satellite Yamaha.
Sixth place is occupied by Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, with the Italian almost seven tenths off his British teammate.
Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner stand-in Jonathan Rea continued his improvement in form as he leads the third row in seventh place. To his right, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi starts in eighth, with the Italian not finding the pace he displayed two weeks ago in Misano, and suffering a front-end fold half way through the session.
His teammate Nicky Hayden qualified in ninth after having also crashed in the final minutes. Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá qualified 10th. Top CRT performer was Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró, who got within 1.7s of the top time and beat San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, who was clearly struggling with his satellite RC213V.
Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez fell at turn 14, the same place as Pedrosa, but like the other crashers was able to walk away.