De Gea hands Man United reality check as early-season optimism dies

Manchester United contrived to dominate Crystal Palace and still hand them a 2-1 win at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has work to do.

After Manchester United put four past Chelsea in their opening Premier League game of the season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not fixating on the three points.

“We have to look behind the results. I would have said the same if we’d had a different result,” he insisted. “We know it’s just the start and there are relationships to be worked on. The more we understand each other and get to play with each other and show that we’re a team, it’s going to improve.”

The United manager will doubtless look beyond the result on Saturday, when Crystal Palace produced a true smash-and-grab at Old Trafford to win there for the first time in the Premier League era. Solskjaer could argue the Red Devils were dominant, committed to attacking football, unlucky at crucial moments. They were.

But that 4-0 win over Chelsea is United’s only league victory at home since April 13. In that sense, Palace’s victory is no aberration; it’s a pattern to home games that Solskjaer seems unable to address.

The statistics tell you this was a match United should never have lost. They had 22 shots to Palace’s five, 71 per cent of the possession, and a second missed penalty in as many games. The visitors scored with two of their three efforts on target, the first a simple finish for Andrew Ayew, the injury-time winner yet another moment to forget for David de Gea in 2019 as Patrick van Aanholt’s strike found its way through the Spain goalkeeper.

 

United can also point to some bad luck, and two questionable decisions from referee Paul Tierney. Debutant Gary Cahill was fortunate not to be sent off for stopping Anthony Martial’s clear route to goal, and Martin Kelly’s manhandling of the forward as he drove into the penalty area in the second half went strangely unpunished.

They will also likely highlight how Palace contrived to score with their first shot at the end of their first foray into the United box, all from goalkeeper Vicente Guaita’s clearance. But that was a goal of United’s own making.

Victor Lindelof will probably bear most of the criticism for failing to win the header against Jeffrey Schlupp that sent Ayew through, but there should be a serious inquest into how the goalscorer was able to wander past Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay in midfield and not be tracked by £80million man Harry Maguire.

Then there was the penalty, Luka Milivojevic rightly punished for tripping McTominay only for the frustrating Marcus Rashford’s effort to clatter the inside of the left-hand post, cross the six-yard box and go out for a goal kick. At least there had been no argument about the taker this time.

Even after Daniel James scored a fine equaliser, United still found a way to ruin their day in the Salford sun. With too many tired players committed forward, Wilfried Zaha broke through, the ball fell to Van Aanholt, and De Gea was beaten at the near post after an hour of having nothing to do.

 

Solskjaer will feel aggrieved about losing a match where his side had such dominance and where fortune simply wasn’t in their favour, but no amount of bad luck should excuse a first home defeat to Palace in 30 years, especially a Palace team that have already lost to Sheffield United and failed to score against Everton.

Instead, the manager should consider whether his vaunted backing of a young and – against Palace, too often naive – attack might hold him back in his first full season in charge. Would it really be so terrible to give Alexis Sanchez, a player apparently being encouraged to leave on loan to Inter, another chance in the squad? Would restoring Fred and Nemanja Matic to the first-team picture at least give Solskjaer more options to change difficult situations for the better?

This is not quite the time for panic at United. Four points from Chelsea at home and Wolves away was a solid start, even if this was an appalling way to come back down to earth, and not even the most optimistic of fans have ever really considered them title challengers to Manchester City and Liverpool anyway.

But Solskjaer would do well to look very closely at this 2-1 scoreline, at how his team contrived to hand victory to their opponents as they chased a winner themselves, and give very serious thought to how he can stop it happening again.

 

Gary Lineker and Karen Carney condemn Brighton striker Andone for red-card lunge

Former England stars Gary Lineker and Karen Carney hit out at Brighton’s Florin Andone after his wild lunge on Southampton’s Yan Valery.

Gary Lineker condemned the “appalling” challenge from Florin Andone that saw the Brighton and Hove Albion striker sent off against Southampton.

Match of the Day host and former England captain Lineker had no sympathy for the Romanian, who was dismissed on the half-hour mark at Amex Stadium.

Andone went in with a two-footed lunge on Brighton’s Yan Valery and referee Kevin Friend swiftly showed him the red card.

He caught Valery just below the knee in Saturday’s Premier League match, which saw Southampton claim a 2-0 win. Valery played on before being substituted early in the second half.

Lineker wrote on Twitter: “Andone sent off for @OfficialBHAFC after an appalling tackle.”

Former England Women star Karen Carney called it “really nasty”.

On the BBC’s Final Score programme, Carney said: “It’s an horrific challenge. He’s gone in very, very high and you even see his own team-mate Solly March [look] at how bad the tackle is.

“We hope he’s OK because that looked really nasty.

“He’s so high, so high and there should be no complaints there. We just hope Valery’s OK. Reckless.”

 

Premier League Review: Lampard gets first win, Palace shock Manchester United

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof during their loss to Crystal Palace

Teemu Pukki’s fifth goal of the season was in vain as Chelsea earned Frank Lampard’s first win, while Crystal Palace won at Old Trafford.

Crystal Palace recorded the biggest shock of the new Premier League season by winning away to Manchester United thanks to Patrick van Aanholt’s stoppage-time strike.

Roy Hodgson’s men had taken only one point from their opening two games but triumphed 2-1 at Old Trafford, with Marcus Rashford missing the first penalty of his career.

Chelsea recorded their first victory under Frank Lampard by winning 3-2 away to Norwich City in the early game, with table-toppers Liverpool and Arsenal facing off in the late kick-off.

Prior to the game at Anfield, all five away teams won in the top flight on Saturday – Southampton, Leicester City and West Ham defeated Brighton and Hove Albion, Sheffield United and Watford respectively.

PENALTY PROBLEMS PERSIST FOR SOLSKJAER’S SIDE

United dominated at home to Palace, yet lost Luke Shaw to injury and found themselves beaten by a pair of goals scored on the break – securing Palace their maiden Premier League victory at the home of the Red Devils.

Having been pegged back at Wolves on Monday, United again struggled for attacking fluency. Rashford endured a difficult day in attack and Jordan Ayew’s first-half goal opened the scoring against the run of play.

Replays appeared to show United should have been given a penalty when Martin Kelly seemed to drag Anthony Martial to the ground in the box, but they could not take advantage when Paul Tierney did point to the spot when Luka Milivojevic felled Scott McTominay.

Paul Pogba failed to score a penalty at Molineux after Rashford threw him the ball and this time the England striker stepped up, his effort crashing back off the inside of the post.

United did level late on, Daniel James curling home a beauty after he was booked for simulation for the second time this term, but Palace snatched it at the death when David de Gea let Van Aanholt’s drive through his hands.


YOUNG LIONS GET LAMPARD UP AND RUNNING

Chelsea were winless in their first three games under Frank Lampard but triumphed in a five-goal thriller at Carrow Road thanks to two of their youngsters.

Mason Mount scored for the second Premier League game in a row yet it was Tammy Abraham who grabbed the headlines with a brace, including the winner.

Norwich equalised twice, the second time thanks to Teemu Pukki’s fifth Premier League goal of the season, but were overpowered by the Blues in the end.

HALLER OFF THE MARK AS WATFORD LOSE AGAIN

Sebastien Haller scored his first Premier League goals as he scored twice in West Ham’s 3-1 win at Watford, with Javi Gracia’s side bottom of the table following a third straight defeat.

Southampton were also without a point after two matches but Moussa Djenepo inspired them to a 2-0 victory at Brighton, scoring within two minutes of his arrival as a second-half substitute. Nathan Redmond wrapped up the result in added time.

Harvey Barnes’ stunning strike earned Leicester their first Premier League win of the season, firing home a first-time thunderbolt after Oliver McBurnie’s header cancelled out Jamie Vardy’s opener at Bramall Lane.

James Rodriguez to start for Real Madrid for the first time since May 2017

Real Madrid's James Rodriguez

Real Madrid welcome Real Valladolid without the services of Luka Modric, meaning James Rodriguez gets a chance to impress.

James Rodriguez is set to start a Real Madrid match for the first time since May 2017 as Los Blancos welcome Real Valladolid in LaLiga.

Colombia international James spent the last two seasons out on loan with Bayern Munich, with his Madrid career seemingly over.

However, Bayern opted against triggering their purchase option and James has been integrated back into the Madrid squad with Zinedine Zidane’s men having so far failed to offload him.

The playmaker slots into the midfield in place of Luka Modric after the Croatia international was sent off in Madrid’s season opener last weekend – a 3-1 win at Celta Vigo.

James’ last start for Madrid came in May 2017 and, having seemingly looked destined for the exit, he has a chance to prove himself once again to Zidane and his other detractors at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Gareth Bale found himself in a similar position to James during the close-season and came very close to joining Chinese side Jiangsu Suning, but that fell through and he is making his second successive LaLiga start.

The Wales winger could be in for a frosty reception from the notoriously vocal home support, however.

Madrid-owned Andriy Lunin is on the bench for visitors Valladolid.

Nicolas Pepe to be unleashed for first Arsenal start at Liverpool

Nicolas Pepe is to be unleashed by Unai Emery, as Arsenal go to Liverpool aiming for a first Anfield win since 2012.

Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe is set for his first Premier League start after being named in the team to face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.

Pepe, 24, joined the Gunners from Lille for £72million earlier this month but had been kept in reserve with coach Unai Emery only affording him a couple of substitute appearances in Arsenal’s first two games.

But after catching the eye with some clever touches and flashes of excitement against Burnley, he is set to be let loose by Emery as the Premier League’s top two tussle at Anfield.

Arsenal fans will have to wait to see Pepe starting alongside both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, however.

The Frenchman is benched despite scoring last time out, leaving Aubameyang to lead the line.

 

The only other change to the side is Granit Xhaka replacing Reiss Nelson, bolstering the midfield.

There are few surprises in the Liverpool starting XI. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – who signed a new long-term contract this week – is left on the bench against his former side.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane lead the line along with Roberto Firmino, the scorer of eight goals in as many games against the Gunners.

Arsenal are aiming to claim a first Premier League win at Anfield since 2012.

 

European Tour: Van Rooyen surges into slender lead at Scandinavian Invitation

Scandinavian Invitation leader Erik van Rooyen

A blistering finish to his third round gave Erik van Rooyen a golden opportunity to win his first European Tour title.

Erik van Rooyen will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Scandinavian Invitation after making a late charge on moving day.

Van Rooyen made a red-hot finish to his third round at Hills Golf & Sports Club, recording birdies at five of the last six holes to sign for a six-under 64.

The South Africa hit the turn in 35 after three gains and a couple of bogeys before surging to the top of the leaderboard on 13 under in Gothenburg.

Van Rooyen, eyeing a first European Tour title, holds the slenderest of advantages over Wade Ormsby, Wu Ashun and Matt Fitzpatrick.

Englishman Fitzpatrick had gone into the weekend with a two-stroke lead but will start his final round in a share of second spot following a one-under 69.

Ormsby lit up the back nine with five gains to card a five-under 65, while Wu is well poised as a result of his 67.

Dean Burmester rocketed into contention with a magnificent 62, the lowest round of the day, which included an eagle-two at the 12th and six birdies.

Jamie Donaldson, Gavin Moynihan, Alexander Levy and home hope Henrik Stenson have three shots to make up on the sole leader.

Marketa Vondrousova not ready to ‘play against the best’ as she misses US Open

A return from a wrist injury at the US Open has failed Marketa Vondrousova, who has withdrawn before her scheduled opener.

Marketa Vondrousova took the decision to pull out of the US Open after another injury flare-up convinced her she was not ready to “play against the best” at Flushing Meadows.

The 20-year-old burst onto the scene at the French Open, beating Johanna Konta to reach a first grand slam final that she lost to Ashleigh Barty.

But Vondrousova struggled for form on the grass courts and had hoped to return at the US Open, only for a wrist problem to cause her concern in practice ahead of the year’s final major.

The world number 17 subsequently decided not to continue at Flushing Meadows, with Zhang Shuai taking her line in the draw as the 33rd seed and playing Viktorija Golubic.

Vondrousova explained on Instagram: “A very tough day for me [on Friday]. I had a long break after Wimbledon to give my wrist a good rest and treatments and I was very excited to be cleared for competition.

“But at my second practice in NY my wrist injury came back with swelling and pain. To be able to play against the best at a grand slam I have to be 100 per cent fit and unfortunately I came to terms that I am not.

“I will now go home and speak with my doctors about further plans. I miss my tennis and my fans and can’t wait to be back.”

 

 

Manchester United 1-2 Crystal Palace: De Gea calamity gifts Eagles last-gasp winner

Patrick van Aanholt hits the winner at Old Trafford

David De Gea’s made a calamitous stoppage-time error as Crystal Palace claimed their first Premier League victory over Manchester United.

Manchester United slumped to their first Premier League defeat of the season as David De Gea’s mistake handed Crystal Palace a 2-1 win at Old Trafford.

Daniel James’ superb 89th-minute strike looked to have salvaged a point for United, who fell behind to Jordan Ayew’s first-half effort.

Luka Milivojevic’s 69th-minute foul on Scott McTominay handed United a lifeline, but Marcus Rashford – who Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed is one of two designated penalty takers following Paul Pogba’s miss against Wolves – struck his spot-kick against the upright.

James’ sensational finish seemed to have sounded a victory charge, yet De Gea failed to make what should have been a simple near-post save from Patrick van Aanholt’s 93rd-minute attempt, as Palace claimed their first league win over United since 1991.

Not long after Rashford squandered an early chance, James went close to breaking the deadlock but the winger’s close-range strike was kept out on the line.

United’s profligacy proved costly as Victor Lindelof lost a header to Jeffrey Schlupp and Ayew kept his cool to slot beyond De Gea.

Luke Shaw’s hamstring injury compounded United’s woes, and the hosts should have been further behind when De Gea denied Wilfried Zaha from point-blank range.

Anthony Martial wanted a penalty 10 minutes after the restart when he appeared to be dragged down by Martin Kelly, but Paul Tierney dismissed United’s appeals.

However, there was little doubt over Milivojevic’s lunge on McTominay.

Rashford stepped up but his strike flew to safety off the inside of the left-hand post.

James looked to have sparred his team-mate’s blushes with a wonderful effort, only for De Gea to gift Palace the win when he parried Van Aanholt’s shot straight down and over the line.

Frank Lampard praise Mason Mount to be bona fide Chelsea player

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard praised Mason Mount’s maturity and provided an update on the late knock he suffered against Norwich City.

Frank Lampard believes Mason Mount deserves to view himself as a bona fide Chelsea player after scoring in a second successive Premier League match.

The 20-year-old academy product rifled past Tim Krul in the first half of Chelsea’s entertaining 3-2 victory at Norwich City to continue his impressive adjustment to top-flight football.

Mount’s well-taken finish bore resemblance to the goals his idol Lampard scored so often during a decorated playing career and came a day after a private chat between the pair.

Lampard wanted to assess whether the midfielder is coping with the expectation placed him upon and thinks the question has been answered with his Premier League performances to date.

“I spoke to Mason yesterday and asked him if he felt like he was a Chelsea player yet because it is important,” the Blues boss said after Saturday’s win at Carrow Road.

“He just sort of smiled. He’s a confident boy, in a really nice way. He’s got a humility and a work ethic, but he smiled and we had a laugh.

“I didn’t really get a clear answer but he should feel like [a Chelsea player] if he plays like he is at the moment.

“And that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the story. He needs to work on getting better daily because he’s a player who trains like it’s a chance to improve and we need that feeling through the team.”

 

 

The feeling will be better at Stamford Bridge now Lampard has secured his first victory, a result inspired by Tammy Abraham’s decisive brace.

“We want to win games, I want to stay in contention. I didn’t want a slow start,” the Blues boss said.

“We had a tough start and I have got to say I am happy with a lot of the performances, but you can’t shout that too loudly if you aren’t winning games.

“So it changes it for me, today. I am very happy. It gives me more determination to work.”

Chelsea have a week to prepare for their next game away to Sheffield United, which should give Mount time to recover from a minor injury he suffered late in proceedings.

“Mason took a knock to his calf, so that is better than a strain, obviously,” Lampard said.

“Hopefully in a couple of days it will settle down, so hopefully that is good news. We will assess it.”

 

AC Milan vision will take time, insists Giampaolo ahead of Serie A opener

New AC Milan boss Marco Giampaolo

AC Milan should be prepared for some difficult moments during the 2019-20 season, according to new boss Marco Giampaolo.

Marco Giampaolo has asked for patience as he attempts to implement his vision at AC Milan.

Former Sampdoria boss Giampaolo took charge at San Siro after Gennaro Gattuso agreed to mutually terminate his contract in May.

The 52-year-old’s reign starts with a visit to Udinese in Serie A on Sunday and Giampaolo wants to be given adequate time to stamp his authority on the club.

“This is a dream for me and a big opportunity for both myself and these players,” he told a media conference.

“I am at an extraordinary club and I have a vision, an idea of where we want to go and the steps to get there. I need time to work with the players and this system, even if there are difficulties.

“Being at Milan is a privilege, something that few get to experience in their lifetime. Milan have millions and millions of fans all over the world and that’s all you need to know for what this club represents.”

Milan have added Rafael Leao, Theo Hernandez and Ismael Bennacer during the close season but Giampaolo has suggested that the starting XI for Sunday’s clash will largely be made up of players from Gattuso’s reign.

“The work has been going as planned, although some players arrived later to training than others,” he added.

“When the season begins, you have fewer training sessions at your disposal and those who weren’t here from the start need more time to catch up. We already worked on the details with the squad throughout the summer, but others are a bit behind.

“We’ll play those who are in the best shape physically and in terms of their collective knowledge of the project. We might be leaving some very strong players on the bench, but right now I don’t know what their conditions are.

“Ismael Bennacer wasn’t too bad when he arrived and could play as a substitute late on tomorrow, while there will be time to introduce all the others. We need to bring everyone into the project.”

FIBA World Cup 2019: USA Basketball names final roster after losing Kyle Kuzma to injury

Gregg Popovich coaching Team USA

Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma was the final cut as he’s dealing with a left ankle injury that prevents him from competing in the tournament.

Team USA’s 12-man roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup is set.

USA Basketball announced Saturday the final cut to its roster after bringing 13 players to Australia to play its final exhibition games.

Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma was the final cut as he’s dealing with a left ankle injury that prevents him from competing in the World Cup. Kuzma sat out Saturday’s  98-94 loss to Australia due to a sore ankle.

Here’s a look at the final roster for the 2019 USA World Cup team:

Player NBA Team
Harrison Barnes Sacramento Kings
Jaylen Brown Boston Celtics
Joe Harris Brooklyn Nets
Brook Lopez Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton Milwaukee Bucks
Donovan Mitchell Utah Jazz
Mason Plumlee Denver Nuggets
Marcus Smart Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics
Myles Turner Indiana Pacers
Kemba Walker Boston Celtics
Derrick White San Antonio Spurs

Team USA will be led by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, with Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce and Villanova University coach Jay Wright serving as USA assistants.

The U.S., two-time defending World Cup champion and FIBA’s No. 1 world ranked team, has one more exhibition game, vs. Canada in Sydney, before facing the Czech Republic on Sept. 1 in Shanghai. The tournament ends Sept. 15.

Gonzalo Higuain starts for Juventus in Serie A opener alongside Ronaldo

Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain

Daniele Rugani and Aaron Ramsey are absent from the Juventus squad to face Parma, with Gonzalo Higuain selected in attack.

Gonzalo Higuain has been named in the Juventus team for their Serie A opener against Parma, with Paulo Dybala on the bench.

Higuain’s future at Juve appeared bleak when he spent last season enduring unsuccessful loans with AC Milan and Chelsea.

But the appointment of Maurizio Sarri, under whom he thrived at Napoli – scoring 36 league goals in the 2015-16 season – appears to have given the striker a fresh chance with the Serie A champions.

Higuain, 31, will lead a three-pronged attack on Saturday with support from Cristiano Ronaldo and Douglas Costa, who starts on the right in place of Federico Bernardeschi.

New signings Matthijs de Ligt, Adrien Rabiot and Danilo are all on the bench along with the returning Gianluigi Buffon, with Wojciech Szczesny preferred in goal. Aaron Ramsey and Daniele Rugani did not make the squad.

Sarri will not be in the dugout at Stadio Ennio Tardini as he is recovering from pneumonia, with the coach also set to miss next week’s visit of his old club Napoli.

Frank Lampard hails Chelsea young guns but calls for finishing improvements

Tammy Abraham scored his first Premier League goals for Chelsea in their 3-2 win at Norwich City and earned praise from his manager.

Frank Lampard said Chelsea could have avoided a “nervy” end to their 3-2 victory over Norwich City had they been more clinical, but nevertheless reserved special praise for two-goal striker Tammy Abraham.

Former Aston Villa and Swansea City loanee Abraham scored his first Premier League goal for Chelsea after three minutes at Carrow Road and, after Todd Cantwell pulled one back for the hosts, Chelsea restored their lead through Mason Mount.

Teemu Pukki scored for the third consecutive match to pull Norwich level at half-time but Abraham hit the winner after 68 minutes, rattling a shot through Grant Hanley’s legs and beyond Tim Krul to clinch the Blues’ first league win of the season.

Lampard, who replaced Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea boss in the close season, has yet to see his charges keep a clean sheet in the league and he expressed his dissatisfaction with the goals Norwich scored.

But the former midfielder said the Blues had deserved more in their opening two league games – a 4-0 defeat at Manchester United and a 1-1 draw at home with Leicester City.

“It was a tough test and Norwich will get a lot of points here and give teams hard games as they are a very good side,” Lampard told BT Sport.

“I think we played really well. The only thing I’d say is those were two goals we shouldn’t be giving away, particularly the second one I didn’t like, and we need to be more clinical.

“If we’re more clinical, we take the game away from Norwich and we don’t have the nervy last five or 10 minutes, but I thought there were lots of really good elements to our game and I’m pleased.”

 

With Chelsea serving a transfer ban, Lampard relied on young players in his pre-season preparations and against Norwich he fielded the youngest Blues line-up in a Premier League game since February 1994, with an average age of 24 years and 208 days.

The manager had his faith in youth repaid by Abraham, who became the youngest player to score a top-flight brace for Chelsea since Mark Nicholls in January 1998.

“I’m pleased with them, particularly Tammy because it’s his first goals for us, he’s starting and competing, and he’s [scored] two really good goals and the winning goal,” Lampard said.

“But I don’t want to just talk about them; I want to talk about all the players out there today because those conditions are hard. It’s hot here against a good team and we absolutely controlled huge parts of the game.

“We need to win games. We’re Chelsea, and nothing is a given in this league. Every year it seems to get harder and our performances haven’t given us what we deserved so far, but today it did – it just could have been more comfortable.”

Lampard drafted Ross Barkley into his starting line-up shortly before kick-off after Pedro suffered an injury, while Marcos Alonso had to come on for Mount in second-half stoppage time.

“Pedro felt his hamstring in the warm-up so there maybe a small strain there, whereas Mason had a kick on his calf, so it’s better news than a strain of any sort and hopefully will recover,” Lampard added.

 

MotoGP: Marc Marquez beats Valentino Rossi to claim superb British Grand Prix pole

Marc Marquez in action at Silverstone

An impressive qualifying session from Valentino Rossi saw him finish second, but Marc Marquez was in a class of his own at Silverstone.

Marc Marquez stormed to pole position at the British Grand Prix, beating Valentino Rossi with a blistering lap in the final seconds of qualifying.

The Repsol Honda rider claimed his fourth consecutive pole and eighth from 12 races in the 2019 season with a track-record time of 1:58.168 at Silverstone, which was a stunning 0.428seconds quicker than Rossi.

Jack Miller celebrated his new contract with Pramac Racing by producing an impressive effort to join the two MotoGP icons on the front row of the grid for Sunday’s race.

A 60th career pole for five-time world champion Marquez means he is in a strong position to extend his lead in this year’s standings, while title rival Andrea Dovizioso – who trails him by 58 points – was down in seventh.

 

Rookie sensation and qualifying specialist Fabio Quartararo had topped the timesheets in practice but had to settle for fourth position, finishing narrowly ahead of Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales.

Franco Morbidelli and Cal Crutchlow join Dovizioso, winner of a dramatic race last time out in Austria, on the third row.

Danilo Petrucci, who is third in the championship, was a poor 11th in the second factory Ducati bike, 1.319s off the pace.

Dovizioso and Rins had to come through Q1 after falling short of the top 10 after FP3, but comfortably beat the rest of the field to join the 12-man battle in the second session.

But Q2 saw Marquez impressively beat the rest of the field, with under two tenths separating the closely matched chasing pack of Rossi, Miller, Quartararo, Rins, Vinales and Dovizioso.

Jorge Lorenzo, the Repsol Honda team-mate of Marquez, will start the race in 21st position on his return from injury.

 

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda): 1:58.168
2. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha): +0.428s
3. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing): +0.434s
4. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha): +0.444s
5. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar): +0.502s
6. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha): +0.594s
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati): +0.594s
8. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha): +0.928s
9. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda): +1.075s
10. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda): +1.259s
11. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati): +1.319s
12. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing): +1.452s