Luca Marini grabs pole and a lap record in Moto2 – Gardner starts from 16th.
Franco Morbidelli and the Petronas Yamaha SRT team have led a Yamaha dominated front row at the Gran Premio de Catalunya in Barcelona while the championship leader, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, will start from P17. Morbidelli took his maiden premier class pole position ahead of teammate Fabio Quartararo with future teammate and current Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider, Valentino Rossi completing the front row.
Morbidelli was upbeat about the race, saying, “It’s always difficult to beat Fabio on a hot lap, so I’m very happy about qualifying today. I was feeling great on the bike and I felt that I could push a lot, on both tyres as well.” He went on to comment about Rossi becoming his teammate for next season, adding, “I also want to congratulate Valentino on one more year in MotoGP and tell him that he is moving to a great team. It will be nice to have him as a team-mate.”
Australian Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) made the most of Q1, setting the fastest time in that session before going on to qualify fourth ahead of Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Johan Zarco (Esponsorama Racing).
Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) heads up the third row and looks to have strong race pace, as does Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) who lines up beside him. The third row is completed by the Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci, the fastest of the factory Ducati’s on the grid.
The second Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine of Brad Binder lines up at the head of row four, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Indemitsu) the second rider to make it through from Q1.
Dovizioso has the most to lose from this race starting from P17, the championship leader having trouble under brakes and not able to run at the front.
In Moto2 it was Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) back on pole position with a new lap record of 1m 43.355s, saying afterwards he expects a strong challenge from Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). “I’m very happy to start from pole because it will be important tomorrow, but I think Speed Up and Sam are strong here so it won’t be an easy race.”
Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) broke the Kalex stranglehold for one lap pace to take second, with Misano podium finisher Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completing the front row. Crucially, Marini’s teammate Marco Bezzechi (Sky Racing Team VR46) starts back in sixth while Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) is starting from tenth.
Australian Remy Gardner (OneXOX TKKR SAG Team) qualified in tenth but will cop a six spot penalty after his crash in practice under yellow flags was penalised.
Moto3 featured another lap record for pole as Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) put in a 1m 47.762s lap for top spot. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) completed the front row and remarkably had identical lap times. The second fastest lap of Fernandez means that he took second spot.