They say you can’t keep a good man down, and after a more difficult Qatar GP, reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) bounced back in stunning style after the rain came down in Argentina – mastering the tricky damp and drying conditions to take his first pole position of the year.
With Marquez clear at the top, it was a stunning ride into P2 for Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) – who put his GP15 straight into the mix at the front and kept it calm for his best ever premier class start. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), after also impressing earlier on Saturday, completes the front row in an exciting line up at the front.
Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) was another who converted the Q2 opportunity into great slot on the grid, as he heads the second row from Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team). Pedrosa led the charge in Q1’s clash of the titans and moved through along with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) – setting the scene for a Q2 with a difference.
Qatar winner and Championship leader Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completes the second row – just ahead of veteran Italian teammate Rossi by less than a tenth. Behind the ‘Doctor’ was another solid performance from Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider Aleix Espargaro, who will line up in P8 following his heroics in the Qatar GP to take Aprilia’s best result since returning in 2015.
Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) was an early hero in the wetter conditions with a provisional front row, and the Frenchman will line up in ninth after later improvements from many in the field. Pull&Bear Aspar Team’s Alvaro Bautista completes the top ten.
Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was top rookie in qualifying and the only rookie in Q2, lining up just ahead of Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone after the Italian had a moment on his final charge.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) complete the top 15 – just ahead of a difficult day for Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team).
The lights go out for the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina at 16:00 local time (GMT -3), with everything set up for another incredible modern MotoGP™ classic.
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) will start from a stunning first pole position in the Moto2™ class for the new KTM chassis – setting the first Portuguese pole since his own at Termas de Rio Hondo in the Moto3™ category in 2015. But it was anything but easy, with an incredible three-way fight against Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Alex Marquez deciding the front row. Qatar winner Morbidelli starts P2, with 2014 Moto3™ World Champion Marquez P3.
Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) heads the second row, ahead of some incredible laps from Jesko Raffin (Garage Plus Interwetten) and Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team), with Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) at the front of Row 3 in P7.
Xavi Vierge continued his stunning run of form to take eighth for Tech 3 Racing, with Xavier Simeon (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) completing the top ten.
Top rookie was Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) in P12, with one surprise seeing Qatar podium finisher Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) down in P22.
Moto2™ line up for battle at 14:20 local time (GMT -3) on Sunday.
John McPhee (British Talent Team) has taken pole position in the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina, as the Brit timed it to perfection to set the best lap of the session before the rain flag came out. Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) shot up the timesheets in the final seconds as one of the only riders to improve into second, with Qatar podium finisher Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) completing the top three.
Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) put in a solid session to head the second row, with second Del Conca Gresini Moto3 rider Fabio Di Giannantonio taking fifth in a big leap of progress. Fellow Italian Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) locks out the second row in P6.
Juanfran Guevara took seventh for RBA BOE Racing Team, ahead of Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) and an impressive performance from SIC58 Squadra Corse rider Tatsuki Suzuki. Südmetall Schedl GP Racing’s Philipp Oettl completed the top ten.
Home hero Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) was a late improver as he fights through the pain barrier following a collarbone break in Qatar, and will start his home race from P13.
In the difficult damp conditions late on, Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) couldn’t improve from P16, with the Red Bull KTM Ajo Team also suffering the weather with Niccolo Antonelli in P14 and Bo Bendsneyder in P17.
Moto3™ go racing on Suday at 13:00 local time (GMT -3).
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