Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa bagged pole position for tomorrow’s Catalan MotoGP at Barcelona, setting a 1’38.870 to beat Jorge Lorenzo by three tenths but it was a nightmare for team-mate Marc Marquez who took his crash total for the day to four.
Marquez went down at turn ten during free practice three before setting the quickest time and then ditched it again in FP4. The Spaniard then went down early on in qualifying two before calling it a day as he bounced through the gravel at turn five right.
But Marquez is still at the head of the second row and a country mile ahead of his Yamaha MotoGP rivals as both Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi struggle for grip in the hot conditions.
Vinales made it through from qualifying one but could only muster ninth place while Rossi missed qualifying two by 0.040s and will start from 13th on the grid.
It is Lorenzo’s first front-row start for Ducati and he is joined there by Danilo Petrucci, who produced a lap out of nowhere with the soft rear tyre to set a 1’44.220 which dumped Marquez on to the second row.
Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro was only 0.028s behind Marquez in fifth place with Hector Barbera in sixth. Andrea Dovizioso finished in seventh place with Jonas Folger - the only rider who looked comfortable on the Yamaha - coming through Q1 to take eighth.
Vinales is ninth with Alvaro Bautista, Scott Redding and Andrea Iannone completing the top 12. Rossi has Johann Zarco for company on row five with Jack Miller while Loris Baz ended ahead of Cal Crutchlow.
The British rider has his worst qualifying since 2012 and is a mile behind the factory Hondas. Sam Lowes suffered another fuel pump nightmare and only got two laps in Q1. Bradley Smith crashed in FP4 and a little finger injury has out him out for the weekend. Sylvain Guintoli was in the Clinica Mobile during Q1 suffering with dizzy spells.