2017 Barcelona MotoGP Qualifying Result: Going For Home Glory

In the punishing heat of Barcelona, you could almost miss all the wet races last season. While the spectators dealt with thirty degrees air temperature and an uneven tan, the riders were faced with fifty-five of them on a bumpy slippery track.

Jorge Lorenzo had a sniff at pole after leading on the first outing but was refused the honour by a dominating Dani Pedrosa, the Honda veteran putting in a late lap to go over three tenths of a second ahead of his former nemesis. Pedrosa will be trying to become the first rider since Lorenzo himself back in 2010 to win the race from pole position - which is the second best place to be in Barcelona in this weather.

Lorenzo did not appear too bothered by losing pole and was keen to celebrate his first front row start for Ducati, as well as managing to add to what appeared to be an unlikely record of starting on the first row in Catalunya for the ninth year in a row.

Danilo Petrucci sneaked onto the front row at the last minute, although he is becoming a usual sight in parc fermé these days. He was slightly helped by Marc Marquez’s almost comedic adventures, the reigning world champion wiping some more sponsors off his leathers after crashing out yet again early in the session. With the other bike already damaged from FP4, he was lucky to be able to ride it back and get it fixed in time for a final shot at pole. He appeared to be heading for that before, guess what, he crashed once more in turn five and begrudgingly settled for a fourth position on the grid.

Aleix Espargaro won’t have minded one bit to be right behind the world champion for tomorrow’s start, the Spaniard putting the Aprilia in a more than honourable fifth place. The all-Spanish second row was completed by Hector Barbera, the Avintia rider looking much better on home ground after a difficult start to his season.

Andrea Dovizioso opens the third row of the grid, sharing it with top Q1 qualifier Jonas Folger. With all of the Yamahas in Q1, it was bound for a few of them to make it into Q2, and Folger did it with ease, almost four tenths in hand on his factory colleague. Talking of which, Maverick Viñales only just made it through Q1 to qualify ninth, closing the third row.

Alvaro Bautista, Scott Redding and Andrea Iannone make up the fourth row, with Valentino Rossi set to start thirteenth, just ahead of his pal Johann Zarco.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith did not take part in qualifying after badly injuring his little finger in a crash in FP4 and being declared unfit for the race. Sylvain Guintoli was another absentee, the Frenchman suffering from dehydration, his participation in the race also being questioned.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'43.870    
2 99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati 1'44.201 0.331 0.331
3 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'44.220 0.350 0.019
4 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'44.320 0.450 0.100
5 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'44.348 0.478 0.028
6 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 1'44.381 0.511 0.033
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'44.451 0.581 0.070
8 94 Jonas FOLGER Yamaha 1'44.600 0.730 0.149
9 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'44.620 0.750 0.020
10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 1'44.740 0.870 0.120
11 45 Scott REDDING Ducati 1'44.852 0.982 0.112
12 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 1'44.928 1.058 0.076
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 94 Jonas FOLGER Yamaha 1'44.239    
Q2 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'44.621 0.382 0.382
13 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'44.661 0.422 0.040
14 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha 1'44.681 0.442 0.020
15 43 Jack MILLER Honda 1'44.829 0.590 0.148
16 76 Loris BAZ Ducati 1'44.919 0.680 0.090
17 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'45.162 0.923 0.243
18 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1'45.641 1.402 0.479
19 53 Tito RABAT Honda 1'45.741 1.502 0.100
20 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'45.887 1.648 0.146
21 22 Sam LOWES Aprilia 1'48.803 4.564 2.916
  38 Bradley SMITH KTM      
  50 Sylvain GUINTOLI Suzuki      


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Thanks Zara! Your writing is really enjoyable. And flows/reads well.

Unlike this track, which is now shite. Agreed re ditching it. Which is too bad, it used to be really good. I appreciate the consideration that Salom's crash is about track surface as much as layout, if not more so. This weekend is a bit of a farce.

The track surface appears to be exponentially worse after each session. It is the same for everone however. Even hotter and greasier conditions tomorrow are going to test the teams and riders to the n'th degree across all classes on that surface which appears to have the friction of teflon on rubber. Add to that the bumps. Right now it looks like a lottery. The bookies favourite has to be Dani. Next up would be Dovi or another Ducati. A toss up between 3 D's. I honestly have no opinion on this race's outcome. I will have a good idea about 6 laps in, after I expect, a number will have dropped out of contention. The track's condition coupled with the current layout is a shadow of its former self.  I'm sure that it can be restored and suitably changed to reproduce its former glory but it will take a lot of funding, political will and compromise. That of course is like asking all the teams, sponsors and riders to donate 10% of their funding to sort it out or see the law of unintended consequences (blowback) take charge of the event. 99% as usual will risk the blowback.

The coolest head on track after 6 laps is my pick for the race. Marquez, Pedrosa, Dovi, Petrucci... Lorenzo, Folger...maybe if Aleix can stay on board, Rossi watching them skittle themselves out and capitalizing. Like I said, a lottery this one rather than an informed opinion like Mugello last week.