Dani Pedrosa grabbed a sensational pole position during qualifying for the Gran Premi Aperol di Catalunya with the Repsol Honda man smashing the pole position record with a best lap of 1m 40.893s in front of his home fans. Pedrosa will be joined on the front row of the grid tomorrow by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow who set a best time of 1m 41.501s while Jorge Lorenzo had to switch to his second Yamaha Factory Racing machine to set the third fastest time of 1m 41.566s with the Spaniard encountering a clutch problem on his first bike.
I am very happy, because we put in a great lap and took a great qualifying time.
LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl will start from 10th on the grid with the German’s best time of 1m 42.090s better than that of Bradley Smith and his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 in 11th on a best time of 1m 42.548s while top CRT man Aleix Espargaro once again impressing in Q2 to secure a 12th place start for the Power Electronics Aspar team with his teammate Randy De Puniet just behind (1m 43.186s). Michele Pirro, who is filling in for Ben Spies, will start from 14th for the Ignite Pramac Racing team with a best time of 1m 43.330s with Avintia Blusens rider Hector Barbera alongside (1m 43.659s). NGM Mobile Forward Racing rider Colin Edwards starts from 16th setting a best lap of 1m 43.983s with Karel Abraham behind the Texan in 17th with a best lap of 1m 44.362s for the Cardion AB Motoracing team.
Danilo Petrucci starts in 18th tomorrow for the Came IodaRacing team (1m 44.369s) while the second of the NGM Mobile Forward Racing machines piloted by Claudio Corti starts in 19th on a best lap of 1m 44.603s. Paul Bird Motorsport teammates Michael Laverty (1m 44.630s) and Yonny Hernandez (1m 44.913s) start in 20th and 21st respectively with Bryan Staring in 22nd for the Go&Fun Honda Gresini team with his best lap of 1m 45.441s while Lukas Pesek starts in 23rd for the Came IodaRacing Project (1m 46.302s).
Pedrosa was thrilled setting a new pole position record in front of his home fans and said, “I am very happy, because we put in a great lap and took a great qualifying time. It was a fantastic pole position for me. We also broke the circuit record and were able to do so in front of the home fans. I am also happy about improving our race pace, as this is the most important thing. We hope to put on a good show tomorrow and take full advantage of the front row start.”
Beating the factory bikes is always on a satellite rider’s mind and setting the second fastest time today, Cal Crutchlow was very satisfied with his performance. He said, “I think we did a great job today and I am really happy to be back on the front row. It seems a while since I managed it at the first race in Qatar and at least I won’t be starting from fourth again. The conditions were really tricky with the incredibly high track temperature and it looks like it is going to be a big battle in the race tomorrow. I’ll be happy to get a good start and hang with Dani and Jorge because they are obviously going to be strong.
Jorge had a few problems today and maybe without those he would have taken second off me. But there’s no doubt we deserve this front row and that’s a good reward for all the hard work done by my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. Congratulations to Dani though because that was an incredible lap time in such tricky conditions,” Crutchlow added.