Jack Miller’s (Alma Pramac Racing) huge gamble to switch to slicks on a drying track for the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina certainly paid off, with the Australian snatching a jawdropping maiden MotoGP™ pole position off Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa on his final lap. In doing so, Miller became the first ever Ducati Independent Team rider to secure pole position.
Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was 0.212 seconds off the Australian’s time to put himself third on the grid and impress once again, with the Frenchman now having taken an incredible six front row starts in a row.
After impressing all weekend, Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) will launch from fourth – his best premier class qualifying by some margin and on for a provisional front row until the end of the session. Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Alex Rins lines up fifth after another impressive performance, while Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) couldn’t convert his superior Free Practice pace into pole and the reigning World Champion starts sixth. Initially heading out on his second run to gamble on slicks, the number 93 gave it one lap before coming back in to switch back to wets. “Too much risk,” says a rider thinking of the Championship.
Q1 graduate Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) – who was the early pace setter in Q2 after eclipsing the Ducatis – heads up the third row of the grid in seventh. Meanwhile Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) starts eighth on the grid after progressing through from Q1 and is fairly satisfied with the result, with 2017 winner Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) lining up alongside the Italian in ninth.
After looking strong all weekend, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) will aim to pick off some of the riders in front of him on Sunday when he shoots from tenth – another rider to initially gamble on slicks before heading back in. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) couldn’t give the Termas de Rio Hondo grandstands a dream Saturday as he qualified in P11 but just 0.022 back from Crutchlow, with Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) starting P12.
A breathtaking MotoGP™ qualifying session left the Ducatis of Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), who qualified P14, and Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) – who ended the day P18 – with plenty of work to do. Which three riders will you choose in your MotoGP™ League?
An unfamiliar looking grid sets us up for a spectacular race at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, as the lights go out at 15:00 (GMT -3) for the premier class boys to do battle.
Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP), who was 29th at one stage, produced a breath-taking final lap to take his first ever Moto2™ pole position at the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) led the session until the very last second, with the Italian then forced to settle for second on the grid. Danny Kent (MB Conveyors – Speed Up Racing) was another rider who leaped up the time sheets at the end, his 1.56.536 – on his last lap – was enough for the Brit to start third.
Italtrans Racing Team rider Mattia Pasini – second for the majority – will start from fourth, as Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) managed to jump up to fifth after a flurry of personal best times at the end. After crashing twice in FP3, Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors ) lines up on the sixth on his return to the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in the Moto2™ class.
Red Bull KTM Ajo star Miguel Oliveira heads up the third row of the grid in seventh, just ahead of Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), who managed to get himself into the top ten when the chequered flag was waved. FP3 front runner Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing) came home ninth, with American Joe Roberts (NTS RW Racing GP) producing an incredible performance to round out the top ten. It’s his best ever qualifying by some margin, as well as the first top ten for new chassis manufacturer NTS .
With Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) down in P15, the Moto2™ race looks set to be a cracker. You can view the full results from qualifying here.
Tune in for the Moto2™ race at 13:20 (GMT -3) on Sunday.
Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) timed the weather to perfection to take his first Grand Prix pole position at the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina. His 1.53.782, just before the rain started to fall at Turn 1, was 0.306 seconds ahead of Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrustelGP) who grabbed his best ever qualifying. The weather might be miserable, but the passionate home crowd had something to cheer about as Argentine Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) lines up third on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Adam Norrodin missed out on the front row by just 0.016 of a second in fourth with more good pace in Argentina, ahead of Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) lining up fifth. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), who was quickest in FP3, completes the second row of the grid. 0.003 behind him was SIC58 Squadra Corse rider Niccolo Antonelli who heads the third row, as Championship rivals Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) line up next to each other in eighth and ninth.
Despite crashing whilst coming back on to the track at Turn 1, Andrea Migno (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) remounted and qualified in the top ten, with a number of high profile riders further down the order.
The lights go out for the Moto3™ race on Sunday at 12:00 (GMT -3), be sure to watch what promises to be a phenomenal showdown .
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