MotoGP: Pedrosa takes pole in Barcelona

MotoGP: Pedrosa takes pole in Barcelona

Dani Pedrosa clocks a time of 1.43.870 to qualify fastest for Sunday's race at the Circuit to Catalunya in Spain, ahead of compatriot Jorge Lorenzo and Italian Danilo Petrucci.

neil-leverett
Neil Leverett

Dani Pedrosa secured pole position for Repsol Honda at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona in MotoGP.

The Spaniard finished ahead of compatriot Jorge Lorenzo in the Ducati, with Italian Danilo Petrucci in third ahead of Sunday's race.

Marc Marquez's weekend of woe continued from Free Practice, crashing out four times within hours of each other. 

With all the pre-race talk regarding track safety following the tragic death of Moto2 rider Luis Salom almost a year to the day, attention switched to events on the track for qualifying.

Treacherous Free Qualifying

In Free Qualifying session three, home favourite Marc Marquez returned to his imperious best, topping to the initial standings, despite sliding off the greasy Catalunya tarmac on more than one occasion on the Repsol Honda.

Not only Marquez again crashed in Free session four, but both Dani Pedrosa and Alvaro Bautista added to the fireworks, with conditions in Barcelona particularly tricky as the sun baked an already roasting surface, with the added anxiety of the Formula One chicane being added for rider safety.

Folger lays down marker

As Q1 got under way, German Jonas Folger stamped his authority on proceedings from the go, posting a time of 1.44.239 on the Monster Yamaha, dousing the early anticipation of the man who continues to live up to his name, Maverick Viñales - the Spaniard in second in the early running.

Meanwhile, 'The Doctor' Valentino Rossi was in need of some medicine of his own, as the Italian could only slip into fifth qualifying spot, before again finding the gravel trap on his second flying lap.

With Viñales and Folger seemingly through into Q2, Rossi and Johann Zarco nipped passed the flag to come through to record a final racing lap time, but neither could overhaul the top two spots, with the former multiple world champion Rossi in third and Frenchman Zarco in fourth, well down the board.

Spanish assault on pole

With the flag dropped for Q2, both Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo hit the front. Marc Marquez grip troubles continued however, sliding out at turn 3. 

Folger then clocked into third position, the Yamaha continuing to purr like a kitten, but Dani Pedrosa was beginning to look uncatchable, as Marquez' teammate raced over in a time of 1.43.870, whilst Marquez himself slotted into third. A minutes racing remained in a frantic finish.

Whilst the latter pushed to improve his own position, Marquez crashed for a fourth time in a day. To add injury to insult, he then lost his third spot to Danilo Petrucci in the OCTO Pramac.  

It was Dani Pedrosa who took pole on home soil, with Lorenzo recording his first front row position for Ducati in second.

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