Crutchlow claims pole from Pedrosa at Jerez

  Qualifiers for the MotoGP Round 4 at the Jerez track didn’t see any of the top riders qualify in the top three, except Dani Pedrosa who seemed to have recovered from his recent surgery. Pedrosa put in quite a performance at the newly resurfaced Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto to take second behind fellow HRC rider Cal Crutchlow, who also set the track’s new pole record.

Behind Crutchlow and Pedrosa were the Yamaha Tech 3 and Ducati of Johann Zarco and Jorge Lorenzo. Reigning Champion Marc Marquez only came in in fifth and will start from row two on the grid. He missed a front-row spot by just 0.021 of a second, but his race pace was quite good in every practice session over the two days.

Lorenzo is starting the Spanish GP from the second row of the grid after going fourth quickest in qualifying. The former champion, who was fifth this in FP3 to go straight through into the afternoon’s Q2 session, just missed out on a front row start in third by 0.013s. “We did a great qualifying session and just missed out on the front row by a fraction. With the new parts that Ducati has brought here in Spain we have in part resolved our problems: the Desmosedici GP is not as nervous as before and I can get the best out of its strong points: we must continue in this way. The race is going to be very tight and complicated for everyone, but tomorrow I want to give my all,” Lorenzo explained.

Team mate Dovizioso on the other hand will have to start round 4 from row 3. The Italian placed eleventh in FP3 and then topped the timesheets in Q1. In Q2 he set a time of 1:38.029, just a whisker away from his team-mate, but had to settle for eighth place on the grid.

Suzuki riders Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone had a fantastic outing at Jerez with sixth and seventh places. Iannone has been running with the top riders since the first practice session. The team target a podium finish.

Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi weren’t exactly in sync in the qualifiers as they only managed 10th and 11th place on the grid. Rossi came short of making any progress up the rider order in his final runs and ended the session in 10th place, 0.614s from first, and just two tenths down from Danilo Petrucci. Vinales also struggled with the pace in qualifying and can only settled for 11th.

The 25-lap race is set for 2 p.m. local time.

2018 MotoGP Jerez qualifying

1 CAL CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR HONDA CASTROL 1’37.653
2 DANI PEDROSA SPA REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1’37.912
3 JOHANN ZARCO FRA MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 1’37.956
4 JORGE LORENZO SPA DUCATI TEAM 1’37.969
5 MARC MARQUEZ SPA REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1’37.977
6 ALEX RINS SPA TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’37.984
7 ANDREA IANNONE ITA TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’37.987
8 ANDREA DOVIZIOSO ITA DUCATI TEAM 1’38.029
9 DANILO PETRUCCI ITA ALMA PRAMAC RACING 1’38.086
10 VALENTINO ROSSI ITA MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1’38.267