The rumors of a new order in MotoGP appear to have been put on hold for a bit. Reigning world champion Marc Marquez reclaimed his place at the top of the timesheet with a 1'54.507 lap. Alvaro Bautista, fast and consistent every session, came in only five hundredths behind. Surprise front-row resident Bradley Smith arrived almost a tenth behind the Repsol man at the front. It is Smith's first-ever front-row start in MotoGP.
And where was open-class wonder Aleix Espargaro, the fastest rider in nearly every prior session? The gravel trap. Twice. The older of MotoGP's Espargaro brothers put his Forward Racing Yamaha down on the asphalt, the second time while on a lap that had pole-position pace. The short, 15-minute qualifying sessions in MotoGP barely give enough time for one crash, let alone two. The second came with less than two minutes remaining, relegating the disappointed rider to ninth.
Andrea Dovizioso showed his speed on the soft-tire shod Ducati to qualify fourth. (His race pace is expected to be slower as he's likely to run the harder tire on Sunday.) Five-time Qatar winner Jorge Lorenzo appeared to be climbing out of his rear-grip funk, putting in a fast lap 15-hundredths off the leader's pace for the middle slot in the second row. Dani Pedrosa just clipped Stafan Bradl for the final position in row two.
Cal Crutchlow, who barley beat a hard-charging Nicky Hayden to earn his position in the main qualifying round, turned his fastest time of the weekend for eighth. Espargaro found himself off his bike and in ninth for the last spot on the third row. And Valentino Rossi (10th) leads the 4th row, qualifying more than half a second behind the leaders.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time||Diff. / Prev.|
|2||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||Honda||1'54.564||0.057 / 0.057|
|3||38||Bradley SMITH||Yamaha||1'54.601||0.094 / 0.037|
|4||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||1'54.644||0.137 / 0.043|
|5||99||Jorge LORENZO||Yamaha||1'54.661||0.154 / 0.017|
|6||26||Dani PEDROSA||Honda||1'54.703||0.196 / 0.042|
|7||6||Stefan BRADL||Honda||1'54.871||0.364 / 0.168|
|8||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||Ducati||1'54.888||0.381 / 0.017|
|9||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||Forward Yamaha||1'54.986||0.479 / 0.098|
|10||46||Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||1'55.096||0.589 / 0.110|
|11||29||Andrea IANNONE||Ducati||1'55.127||0.620 / 0.031|
|12||44||Pol ESPARGARO||Yamaha||1'55.152||0.645 / 0.025|
|13||69||Nicky HAYDEN||Honda||1'55.894||0.488 / 0.391|
|14||5||Colin EDWARDS||Forward Yamaha||1'56.042||0.636 / 0.148|
|15||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||Honda||1'56.479||1.073 / 0.437|
|16||45||Scott REDDING||Honda||1'56.555||1.149 / 0.076|
|17||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||Ducati||1'56.648||1.242 / 0.093|
|18||17||Karel ABRAHAM||Honda||1'56.715||1.309 / 0.067|
|19||8||Hector BARBERA||Avintia||1'57.006||1.600 / 0.291|
|20||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ART||1'57.513||2.107 / 0.507|
|21||23||Broc PARKES||PBM||1'57.574||2.168 / 0.061|
|22||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||Avintia||1'57.667||2.261 / 0.093|
|23||70||Michael LAVERTY||PBM||1'58.254||2.848 / 0.587|