Argentina MotoGP: Marquez grabs pole amid tyre drama

Marc Marquez took pole position in a chaotic qualifying session for the Argentina MotoGP race, crashing out in the closing moments but keeping the top spot ahead of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

After topping both Saturday practice sessions, Repsol Honda man Marquez always looked like the man to beat, and his opening Q2 salvo of 1m39.411s proved out of reach for his rivals for the rest of the session.

The two-time champion, however, suffered a low-side crash at Turn 1 in the closing moments of the session in almost identical circumstances to his FP3 crash.

Marquez's initial lap time gave him an advantage of 1.1s over Lorenzo at first, although this was halved when Rossi jumped to P2 late on with a time 0.577s slower.

During the final runs, Lorenzo briefly took second place, four hundredths up on Rossi, before the Italian snatched the place back from his factory Yamaha teammate by lapping 0.375s down on Marquez at the chequered flag.

That relegated Lorenzo back to third, ahead of the second factory Honda of Dani Pedrosa and the works Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone.

Maverick Vinales moved up to seventh at the end of the session on the best of the Suzukis, with Hector Barbera (Avintia Ducati) and Cal Crutchlow, who crashed his LCR Honda at Turn 1, completing the third row.

Bradley Smith was another man to lose the front at the first corner, and could do no better than 12th behind the Espargaro brothers Pol and Aleix, having previously topped Q1 from his Tech 3 teammate.

Scott Redding was the highest-profile casualty of the opening session, and will start 14th behind Loris Baz (Avintia Ducati) and ahead of Jack Miller, who crashed his Marc VDS Honda twice.

FP4 tyre drama

The start of qualifying was delayed as Redding suffered a delamination of his rear tyre in FP4 in an incident not dissimilar to that of Baz in Sepang testing, albeit without a dramatic crash.

That brought out the red flags while the debris from the back of Redding's Pramac Ducati was cleared, and the session was resumed before being suspended for a second time with four minutes to run to establish the circumstances of the failure.

FP4 was eventually resumed once again, with Lorenzo supplying some late drama when he suffered a routine low-side crash at Turn 1, the same place Marquez had fallen in FP3.

Qualifying times:

PosRiderTeamBikeTime
1 SpainMarc Marquez  Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V 1:39.411
2 ItalyValentino Rossi  Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha YZR-M1 1:39.786
3 SpainJorge Lorenzo  Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha YZR-M1 1:39.944
4 SpainDani Pedrosa  Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V 1:40.011
5 ItalyAndrea Dovizioso  Ducati Team Ducati Desmosedici GP16 1:40.198
6 ItalyAndrea Iannone  Ducati Team Ducati Desmosedici GP16 1:40.272
7 SpainMaverick Viñales  Team Suzuki ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-RR 1:40.375
8 SpainHector Barbera  Avintia Racing Ducati Desmosedici GP14 1:40.524
9 United KingdomCal Crutchlow  Team LCR Honda RC213V 1:40.528
10 SpainPol Espargaro  Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 1:40.654
11 SpainAleix Espargaro  Team Suzuki ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-RR 1:40.708
12 United KingdomBradley Smith  Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 1:40.893
13 FranceLoris Baz  Avintia Racing Ducati Desmosedici GP14 1:40.744
14 United KingdomScott Redding  Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati Desmosedici GP15 1:40.750
15 AustraliaJack Miller  Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V 1:40.881
16 GermanyStefan Bradl  Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia RS-GP 1:40.897
17 IrelandEugene Laverty  Aspar Racing Team Ducati Desmosedici GP14 1:40.990
18 ItalyMichele Pirro  Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati Desmosedici GP15 1:41.116
19 SpainTito Rabat  Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V 1:41.157
20 SpainAlvaro Bautista  Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia RS-GP 1:41.611
21 ColombiaYonny Hernandez  Aspar Racing Team Ducati Desmosedici GP14 1:41.692

 

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Argentinian GP
Track Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Scott Redding , Marc Marquez
Article type Qualifying report