2017 Argentina MotoGP Qualifying Result: Two-part Thriller Throws Up Surprises

Marc Marquez has taken his fourth pole position in Argentina in a row, with a superlative display of riding on a drying track during qualifying. The Repsol Honda rider's fastest qualifying continues his monopoly of pole positions in the MotoGP class at the Termas De Rio Hondo circuit, and also brings his total to 66 pole positions, putting him ahead of Jorge Lorenzo again as the rider with the most poles in the modern era.

Marquez was simply unstoppable on a drying track, his first fast lap putting him a second clear of the field, then improving that time by another second, to lead the field by over three quarters of a second at the end. Marquez' time was only briefly challenged by Karel Abraham, but his second lap was enough to gap the field.

That left Karel Abraham in second, his first ever front row. The Czech rider rode impressively on a two-year-old Ducati Desmosedici GP15, and giving the Pull&Bear Aspar team an emotional front row start. Cal Crutchlow came very close to beating Abraham into third on his last lap, but he came up just three thousandths of a second short on the LCR Honda.

Hondas and Ducatis dominated the two front rows, with Danilo Petrucci taking fourth on the Pramac Ducati, a tenth of a second faster than Dani Pedrosa on the second Repsol Honda. Pedrosa had come though from Q1 along with Valentino Rossi, the two veterans putting on a dazzling display in the first session, but one which left them a little short of tires in the second qualifying session. Changing conditions made it harder too: the track started very wet in Q1, but dried out considerably throughout Q2, creating a dry line and giving riders their best times at the end of the session.

After dominating the weekend in the dry, Maverick Viñales' lack of experience was telling in the wet, ending Q2 1.7 seconds slower than Marc Marquez. But a second row start is manageable, especially if the race is dry tomorrow, as forecast. 

Valentino Rossi will start from seventh, slightly disappointing but hampered by tires, as Pedrosa had been. Rossi just pipped Aleix Espargaro, the Aprilia rider now in eighth, ahead of Loris Baz in ninth.

Q1 turned out to be as thrilling as Q2 in Argentina, with drama throughout. Jack Miller appeared to have the upper hand, but a mistake by the team not having fresh rubber ready left him unable to ride in the last five minutes of Q1, and miss out on what looked like certain passage through to Q2.

Neither factory Ducati made it through to Q2, with Andrea Dovizioso just bumped out by Rossi, while Jorge Lorenzo struggled on his first time out on the Ducati in the wet. Lorenzo will start from sixteenth, his worst qualifying position since Brno in 2008, his first year in the class.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'47.512    
2 17 Karel Abraham Ducati 1'48.275 0.763 0.763
3 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'48.278 0.766 0.003
4 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'48.908 1.396 0.630
5 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'49.008 1.496 0.100
6 25 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'49.218 1.706 0.210
7 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'49.272 1.760 0.054
8 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'49.323 1.811 0.051
9 76 Loris Baz Ducati 1'49.630 2.118 0.307
10 19 Alvaro Bautista Ducati 1'49.724 2.212 0.094
11 94 Jonas Folger Yamaha 1'49.825 2.313 0.101
12 29 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 1'50.725 3.213 0.900
Q1 Result
To Q2 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'49.235    
To Q2 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'49.421 0.186 0.186
13 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'49.488 0.253 0.067
14 5 Johann Zarco Yamaha 1'49.916 0.681 0.428
15 45 Scott Redding Ducati 1'50.048 0.813 0.132
16 99 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 1'50.310 1.075 0.262
17 43 Jack Miller Honda 1'50.319 1.084 0.009
18 44 Pol Espargaro KTM 1'50.673 1.438 0.354
19 38 Bradley Smith KTM 1'50.676 1.441 0.003
20 53 Tito Rabat Honda 1'50.910 1.675 0.234
21 8 Hector Barbera Ducati 1'51.058 1.823 0.148
22 22 Sam Lowes Aprilia 1'51.199 1.964 0.141
23 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'52.340 3.105 1.141

 

Round Number: 
2
2017
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Comments

It just proves the new contender is not only supremely talented but wise also, deciding against risking in the wet, when facing a dry race. 

Viva MotoGP

Marc Marquez is fast, I knew that. Fast pace for one lap yes very much so.

Karel Abraham on the front row, Fastest Ducati! If this was not MotoMatters I would not believe it. I must withdraw all my comments about daddy's money & daddy's racetrack. Good luck to Karel, I hope he gets a good result in the race.

Congrats to Cal Crutchlow, Dani & Danilo, they did well to outqualify Maverick. Go Ducati & Honda. Where is Yamaha?

Go Aleix on the Aprilia, go Loris Baz & A.B.

The Maniac Iannone beat both factory Ducatis again, message to ex-boss "ya shouldna sacked me."

Maniac wasn't fired cause he is slow over a lap-quals- he was fired cause he can't put it together over race distance!! Let him crow post race IF he beats both Suzukis.

I hope Lorenzo got his money up front because by the end of the year Ducati may be disappointed in his job performance and want to rewrite that check.  We shall see...

Rossi just keeps pulling the rabbit out the hat.  Stressful for a fan that does not want to see him go away and retire.  Just when you start to think that he may be losing it, pow, he pops back in contention.  Vinales is definitely going to be alot better than many people and racers would have imagined judging from his calm coolness he is showing.  Not over doing it.  Congrats to Abraham, because he is DEFINITELY someone I would have NOT EVER guessed would qualify this high up.