Marc Marquez took the 20th pole position of his short premier class career in qualifying for the Aragon grand prix, the 800th race weekend of the MotoGP world championship.
The reigning world champion was in absolutely imperious form as he set a blistering pace in the opening salvo of Q2m decimating his own lap record of 2013 on his first attempt. With many thinking the qualifying result was a done deal – as Marquez was by then already some 0.7 clear of his nearest rival – it was left to Dani Pedrosa to prove otherwise as he wrested provisional pole from his Repsol Honda team-mate’s grasp.
It wasn’t to be for Pedrosa however, as Marquez then produced the lap of the season to best his rival by almost 0.3 seconds.
Andrea Iannone followed Pedrosa up in 3rd to be fastest Ducati, with Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro nibbling at his heels. Cal Crutchlow provided another surprise by lining up 5th, much happier with his Ducati GP14, while Hector Barbera emerged from the shadows on his first ride of a Ducati to sneak into the top ten shootout.
Valentino Rossi was forced to undergo the trial of contesting Q1 after a disappointing final practice, but made the cut and proceeded to beat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo for 6th and 7th places on the grid. Andrea Dovizioso and Bradley Smith also took part in Q2, but failed to make an impact as both men crashed before the chequered flag.
Nicky Hayden was 18th on his return from injury, while fellow Aspar rider Hiroshi Aoyama beat Gresini Honda man Alvaro Bautista for 14th.
Copyright – DORNA