Argentina MotoGP: Marquez eclipses Vinales for pole

Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez took pole position for the Argentina Grand Prix after beating Maverick Vinales and Andrea Dovizioso in a typically frenetic qualifying shootout.

Argentina MotoGP: Marquez eclipses Vinales for pole

After topping the pre-qualifying FP4 session despite suffering a rare mechanical failure, Marquez seized the initiative early on in Q2 at Termas de Rio Hondo with an early benchmark of 1m38.767s.

LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow was the only other rider to breach the 1m39s in the first runs, but when the second runs commenced it was Yamaha man Vinales that shot to the top of the timing screens with a 1m38.458s, the quickest lap of the weekend so far.

But on his final flyer, Marquez responded with a 1m38.304s to grab his fifth pole in six attempts in Argentina, beating Vinales by 0.154s.

Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso briefly went second behind Vinales with a time just a hundredth of a second slower, but was demoted to third when Marquez moved to the top.

Valentino Rossi narrowly missed a spot on the front row with a time 0.241s off the pace on the second factory Yamaha, while Jack Miller completed the top five on the Pramac Ducati.

Petronas Yamaha duo Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo bagged sixth and seventh on the grid ahead of Crutchlow, who failed to improve on his second run.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR) and Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) completed the top 10, while Jorge Lorenzo qualified 11th, but had his best time deleted due to track limits at Turn 14, and will only start 12th behind KTM's Pol Espargaro.

Q1: Suzuki misses the cut, Iannone last

The opening segment of qualifying was topped by Nakagami, who punched in an early lap of 1m39.279s and then improved to a 1m39.064s to stay on top throughout.

Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro held the other Q2 transfer spot after the opening runs with a time less than a tenth slower than Nakagami, but he was demoted by younger brother Pol in the closing stages.

That means he will head up row five, ahead of an impressive Miguel Oliveira on the best of the Tech 3 KTMs and Karel Abraham's Avintia Ducati.

Alex Rins could muster only the sixth-best time in Q1 on the best of the Suzukis and will start Sunday's race down in 16th, three places ahead of rookie teammate Joan Mir.

Johann Zarco will start his second race for KTM from 18th, while new Aprilia recruit Andrea Iannone ended up 12th and slowest of all in Q1, consigning him to the very back of the grid.

Q2 times:

Pos. # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 93 Spain Marc Marquez  Honda 1'38.304  
2 12 Spain Maverick Viñales  Yamaha 1'38.458 0.154
3 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 1'38.468 0.164
4 46 Italy Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 1'38.545 0.241
5 43 Australia Jack Miller  Ducati 1'38.548 0.244
6 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli  Yamaha 1'38.886 0.582
7 20 France Fabio Quartararo  Yamaha 1'38.897 0.593
8 35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow  Honda 1'38.955 0.651
9 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami  Honda 1'39.038 0.734
10 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 1'39.093 0.789
11 44 Spain Pol Espargaro  KTM 1'39.489 1.185
12 99 Spain Jorge Lorenzo  Honda 1'39.520 1.216

Q1 times:

Pos. # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami  Honda 1'39.064  
2 44 Spain Pol Espargaro  KTM 1'39.217 0.153
3 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro  Aprilia 1'39.288 0.224
4 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira  KTM 1'39.298 0.234
5 17 Czech Republic Karel Abraham  Ducati 1'39.331 0.267
6 42 Spain Alex Rins  Suzuki 1'39.384 0.320
7 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia  Ducati 1'39.387 0.323
8 5 France Johann Zarco  KTM 1'39.571 0.507
9 36 Spain Joan Mir  Suzuki 1'39.605 0.541
10 53 Spain Tito Rabat  Ducati 1'39.978 0.914
11 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin  KTM 1'40.053 0.989
12 29 Italy Andrea Iannone  Aprilia 1'40.118 1.054
shares
comments
Argentina MotoGP: Marquez tops FP3, Dovizioso crashes

Previous article

Argentina MotoGP: Marquez tops FP3, Dovizioso crashes

Next article

Iannone explains struggles after qualifying last

Iannone explains struggles after qualifying last
Load comments
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Prime

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the track's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP Prime

How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP

The 2020 MotoGP season was an enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if you thought the world championship was a poorer place without Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape.

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021