Dani Pedrosa will start the 2014 Catalan Grand Prix from pole position tomorrow after championship leader Marc Marquez made an uncharacteristic mistake and crashed during final qualifying for the race on Sunday.
Pedrosa had already put his younger Repsol Honda team-mate under pressure by posting the fastest provisional time with minutes to go in Q2, and the result was sealed when Marquez came off his bike on the approach to turn one and slid ignominiously into the gravel. The pole is Pedrosa’s first since he started from first here twelve months ago, but with Marquez still doing enough for third fastest behind Jorge Lorenzo’s Yamaha there is still all to play for tomorrow.
Behind the factory trio Stefan Bradl managed 4th ahead of Valentino Rossi who struggled once again with the ‘new’ qualifying format with regard to his team-mate Lorenzo, while Aleix Espargaro completes row two. Dovizioso, Smith and the impressive Hernandez sealed row three, with Pol Espargaro and Andrea Iannone finishing ahead of Alvaro Bautista who fell heavily at turn seven early in Q2 when he high-sided his Gresini Honda machine. Despite being winded and needing stretchering off, Bautista was able to return to the pits on his own feet.
Elsewhere there was disappointment for Britain’s Cal Crutchlow who failed to make it out of Q1 meaning he will start 13th, with Scott Redding close behind in 14th. Michael Laverty was out-qualified by team-mate Broc Parkes and will start from 21st place.
Copyright – DORNA