Dani Pedrosa of Repsol Honda beats teammate Marc Marquez by a whisker to grab first pole position of the season at Jerez.
MotoGP has finally reached Europe for this season and as many experts, as well as racing fans, will tell you, this is actually where all the action begins. The first race on the European continent will kick off in Jerez tomorrow and we’ve to say things are looking pretty intense.
The Spanish Grand Prix starts with a few surprises it has to be said. The first and foremost thing to talk about here are Hondas, which seemed to be in the thick of things as they locked the front row during qualifying – both factory Repsol Hondas sat first and second, followed by the LCR Honda in third. On the other hand, Yamahas, which thus far were looking unbeatable in 2017, struggled to make any impression on their arch-rivals in Jerez. And that’s quite surprising since Jerez is traditionally a circuit that favours the sweet handling Yamaha M1. Last but not least is Jorge Lorenzo, who seemed to have finally got a hang of the Ducati Desmosedici – not by a huge margin but he’s closer to Hondas and Yamahas than ever before in this season.
Coming to the results of the qualifying, Dani Pedrosa of Repsol Honda grabbed pole from teammate Marc Marquez. The difference between the two factory Honda riders stood at just 0.049s – Pedrosa clocked 1m38.249s vs Marquez’s best lap of 1m38.298s. While Marquez is expected to give it all in the race tomorrow, Pedrosa has been looking quite comfortable (read: fast!) all through the weekend. Tomorrow promises to be a close duel between the two Repsol Honda riders if the track conditions remain identical to the qualifying round today.
Placed third on the grid is Cal Crutchlow of LCR Honda, who beat the Movistar Yamaha of Maverick Vinales to grab the final spot on the front grid. Joining Vinales (fourth) in the second row will be Andrea Iannone of Suzuki in fifth and Johann Zarco of Tech 3 Yamaha in sixth. As for Valentino Rossi, he looked out of rhythm today and could only manage to be the seventh fastest. Alongside Rossi will be his former teammate Lorenzo on his factory Ducati in eight. Jonas Folger of Monster Tech 3 and Jack Miller of Marc VDS Honda rounded out the top ten.