Qualifying at Aragon showed that the fourteenth round of the season could turn out to be a turning point in all three Grand Prix championships. Momentum shifts, sometimes suddenly, sometimes slowly, and before you know it, title races can open up again. Foregone conclusions are shown up for the illusions they are, and the words of every championship leader - 'I won't start thinking about the title until Valencia - are brought into keen focus.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after qualifying at Motorland Aragon:
Double Repsol Honda front row as Marquez snatches 7th pole position of season
Marc Marquez has taken his seventh pole position of the season for tomorrow's Aragón GP, recording a time of 1'47.804, and comfortably broken Casey Stoner's record from 2011 (1'48.451). Marc waited until the last minute to set his fastest lap, recording the time on lap seven of eight, and beating Lorenzo to the front spot on the grid by just 0.010s.
Summary and results of qualifying at Aragon for the MotoGP class:
Valentino Rossi topped the timesheets in the third session of free practice for the MotoGP class, but practice was largely lost to the conditions. The track was still damp as practice started, only really drying out towards the end of the session, when more riders took to the track. Rossi's best time from FP3 was still over half a second slower than his time from yesterday. Rossi ended the session ahead of Alvaro Bautista, Nicky Hayden and Aleix Espargaro.
So what happened to the lap times? When MotoGP tested here at Aragon back in June, Jorge Lorenzo was nearly one and a half seconds faster than his time on the first day of practice. Marc Marquez was half a second slower than his time in testing, despite being the fastest man after FP1 and FP2, Valentino Rossi was a second slower, and Dani Pedrosa was just a couple of tenths slower than his test time, set here three months ago.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the first day of practice at Motorland Aragon:
Honda riders on fire in the Aragón heat
Marc Marquez wrestled control of the second MotoGP free practice session on his opening run of laps and never looked back. The Repsol Honda rookie was never headed from the early running and was in scintillating form, his ominous lap time of 1:48.987 made him the only rider to dip into the one minute forty eight minute bracket.
After the serious incident at Silverstone, in which Dani Rivas crashed into Steven Odendaal during the Sunday morning warm up, as Odendaal and other riders stood waiting to make practice starts, the Grand Prix Commission has taken steps to regulate practice starts in all three Grand Prix classes. From now on, practice starts will only be allowed from designated locations at the circuit, and practice starts elsewhere will be banned.