Rossi surprises with Jerez pole

Valentino Rossi came from behind to pip favourites Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez to pole position at Jerez, his first pole since last year’s Dutch TT.

A warm track and crowded grandstands greeted the riders at the start of Saturday’s Q2 for the Spanish MotoGP.

Lorenzo went into the 15-minute session as the rider to beat, having topped three of the weekend’s earlier practice sessions including FP4.

He was soon in the midst of a thrilling battle with Marquez for P1 as the duo traded blows.

As the clock counted down on qualifying, Lorenzo laid down his marker with a 1:38.858, leapfrogging Marquez on the timesheets.

The Honda rider tried to respond but had to settle for second despite two attempts at overhauling his compatriot.

The battle appeared to be decided only for Rossi to put in a very late charge.

The Italian came through with an unexpected 1:38.736 to beat his Yahama team-mate by 0.122s.

Marquez dropped to third, a further 0.033s off the pace.

Andrea Dovizioso qualified fourth ahead of Maverick Vinales, Aleix Espargaro, Dani Pedrosa and Pol Espargaro.

Earlier in the afternoon, Cal Crutchlow, with a 1:39.907, and Loris Baz were the two riders to progress to Q2 with the Frenchman knocking out Aprilia’s Alvaro Bautista on his final lap.

Crutchlow and Baz qualified P10 and P12 respectively.

1 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’38.736
2 Jorge LORENZO Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’38.858 0.122
3 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’38.891 0.155
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team Ducati 0.844
5 Maverick VIÑALES Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’39.581 0.845
6 Aleix ESPARGARO Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’39.588 0.852
7 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1’39.678 0.942
8 Pol ESPARGARO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’39.720 0.984
9 Hector BARBERA Avintia Racing 1’39.742 1.006
10 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda 1’39.881 1.145
11 Andrea IANNONE Ducati Team 1’40.054 1.318
12 Loris BAZ Avintia Racing 1’40.184 1.448
13 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’40.239
14 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’40.242
15 Eugene LAVERTY Aspar Team MotoGP 1’40.292
16 Yonny HERNANDEZ Aspar Team MotoGP 1’40.335
17 Scott REDDING OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 1’40.595
18 Stefan BRADL Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’40.835
19 Jack MILLER Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1’40.968
20 Michele PIRRO OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 1’40.985
21 Tito RABAT Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1’41.039