Valentino Rossi secures Jerez MotoGP pole position

Despite Lorenzo being fastest after FP4, Rossi has claimed pole position ahead of the Spanish round of the MotoGP.

Valentino Rossi secures Jerez MotoGP pole position
Rossi clinches pole at end of qualifying ahead of fourth MotoGP round in Jerez | Photo: Yamaha Racing

It was Movistar Yamaha Valentino Rossi who clocked the fastest lap in the end to claim pole position ahead of the race in Jerez. Jorge Lorenzo will start in second after finishing 0.122 seconds slower, and Marc Marquez will complete the front row as the fastest Honda.

Movistar Yamaha rider Lorenzo was the fastest MotoGP rider after FP4; the final practice session ahead of qualifying to determine the grid positions for the fourth round of the MotoGP at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain.

The final practice session had to be delayed as it was reported that many of the Michelin mechanics were ill and so a 15 minute extension meant that the manufacturers were able to catch up on fitting tyres for the elite class.

Lorenzo managed to lap under 1:40 minutes during FP4; he, Marquez (Respol Honda) who finished second fastest and Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) who was third at the end of the session, were the only other ones able to achieve this.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) was just outside of this barrier as fourth fastest ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso.

Marc Marquez will start on second row | Photo: Box Repsol
Marc Marquez will start on second row | Photo: Box Repsol

Crutchlow and Baz progress after Qualifying one

Qualifying one was the opportunity for two of the ten slower riders from FP3 to progress onto the main qualifying session with the fastest ten from the same session. The riders were very cautious trying to avoid providing a tow for a rider following closely to improve their time, and so many sat up and went off the race line to try and find a gap on the track if not trying to find a tow themselves.

At one point Eugene Laverty (Aspar Team MotoGP) was leading the pack, before his teammate Yonny Hernandez, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Loriz Baz (Avintia Ducati) managed to overtake him.

Just like in America, Bradley Smith (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha) rider completed a fast lap in the final stages, soon after Crutchlow lapped the fastest claiming the top spot. Smith’s final efforts were not enough though and Baz and Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) both lapped faster just after. In the end it was Crutchlow and Baz who managed to progress through to the final qualifying session with the top runners.

Lorenzo keen to get qualification session started

The main qualifying session began and Lorenzo made sure he was at the end of the pit lane to ensure a clear track ahead of him. He went straight to pole position however Marquez soon pipped him to claim the top spot.

Just five minutes remained and after a brief stop to debrief in their pits the riders returned to the track to make their last stich attempt to qualify as best as possible. Lorenzo reclaimed pole with Hector Barbera (Avintia Ducati) in tow who managed to clinch fourth briefly.

Rossi steals pole in final moments

Rossi was the man of the moment | Photo: Yamaha Racing
Rossi was the man of the moment | Photo: Yamaha Racing

Dovizioso finished as the fastest Ducati rider in fourth position at the front of the second row. The two Team Suzuki Ectsar riders will join him with Vinales claiming fifth position and Aleix Espargaro in sixth. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) is on the front of the third row head of Pol Espargaro (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha) and Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing).

Crutchlow claimed tenth ahead of Andrea Iannone and Baz who complete the fourth row.  Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) qualified in 13th ahead of Smith and Laverty. His teammate Hernandez is in 16th ahead of Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yaknich Ducati) who struggled for grip in the rear. Bautista’s teammate Stefan Bradl qualified in 18th.

The last row of the grid is made up of Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and rookie Tito Rabat who are split by injured Danilo Petrucci’s replacement Michele Pirro (Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati).

Seven Spanish riders make up the first nine on the grid which is led by an Italian which means it will be an exciting race. No same rider has won over the past four years here. Race will take place at 1pm local time.