Team Suzuki Ecstar and its rider Aleix Espargaro clinched pole in the Catalan Grand Prix. It is their first pole of the 2015 season.
The Suzuki Ecstar team not only finished on pole but claimed a 1-2 in Q2 with Espargaro’s teammate Maverick Vinales slotting into second. This was Suzuki’s first pole since Chris Vermeulen's at Assen in 2007.
In doing so, the Spaniard smashed Dani Pedrosa’s 2013 lap record (1’40.893) by over 0.4s as he set a 1’40.546 around the 4.7km circuit to claim his second MotoGP pole. Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was third.
His teammate and championship leader Valentino Rossi only managed seventh. The Italian has had a poor run leading into qualifying.
Honda’s Marc Marquez benefitted from a new exhaust on his RC213V in Barcelona, qualifying fourth behind Lorenzo. He looked like he could challenge for pole, but a poor last sector denied him the top slot.
Dani Pedrosa, in his second GP since his return, qualified sixth behind Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso who was fifth while his teammate Andrea Iannone only managed 12th in his effort.
Bradley Smith, riding his Tech 3 Yamaha, will start from eighth on the grid as the leading satellite rider, ahead of his compatriot Cal Crutchlow of LCR Honda, who suffered a crash at turn 10.
Octo Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez rounds out the top ten.
Karel Abraham of AB Motoracing missed qualifying and will not race after he suffered a nasty crash in FP4, severely dislocating the big toe on his left foot.
|15||Stefan Bradl||Yamaha Forward||1'42.053||1.507|
|17||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1'42.273||1.727|
|19||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||1'42.592||2.046|
|23||Alex de Angelis||ART/Aprilia||1'43.601||3.055|