Reigning champion Marc Marquez scored his fourth pole position of the MotoGP season at Indianapolis, outpacing his Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in qualifying.
Lorenzo’s first shot was a 1m32.715s, before Bradley Smith grabbed provisional pole on his Tech 3 Yamaha with 1m32.589s.
But then the Repsol Hondas lowered the bar, Pedrosa first with 1m32.209s and then Marquez with 1m31.884s, which stood as the fastest time of the day and only two-tenths off his pole time from last year.
Pedrosa was 0.325s off Marquez’s best time at this point, and went for it again on a second fresh rear tyre, his resulting 1m32.055s trimming Marquez’s advantage to 0.171s.
Points leader Valentino Rossi snatched provisional third at that stage with his best lap of the weekend of 1m32.511s, 0.627s down on Marquez, which demoted Yamaha teammate Lorenzo to sixth behind both Tech 3 Yamahas – the Spaniard 0.831s off the pace at the time.
Smith snatched third with 1m32.269s, only to be eclipsed by fellow Brit Cal Crutchlow on 1m32.208s. Danilo Petrucci quickly separated them in P4 on his Pramac Ducati.
Lorenzo made a last-gasp leap to third with 1m32.186s, where he will start ahead of Crutchlow, Petrucci and Smith.
Rossi – having slipped back to eighth – will start from the middle of the third row, as Ducati’s Andrea Iannone pipped him too.
|21||Alex de Angelis||ART/Aprilia||1m34.226||2.342|
|22||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1m34.322||2.438|