Marquez clinches Catalunya pole

Marc Marquez claimed his first pole position at the Circuit de Catalunya on a weekend when MotoGP is reeling from the tragic death of Luis Salom.

In the wake of Salom’s fatal crash at Turn 12 in Friday’s Moto2 practice, qualifying for the Catalunya MotoGP took place on the alternate Formula 1 layout.

The meant riders bypassed the high-speed Turn 12 with a chicane while racing through a shorter, sharper version of Turn 10.

Marquez set the early place in Q2 ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. The Honda rider clocked a 1:43.905 as he laid down his marker, half a second faster than the Championship leader’s best.

Marquez upped his pace to a 1:43.589 to take pole position by 0.467s ahead of Lorenzo. It was Marquez’s first pole at the Barcelona track.

Dani Pedrosa was third as Honda were strong in the final sector with the revised layout. P3 means a first front row start for the 2016 season for the Spaniard.

Hector Barbera, who had to come through Q1 to book a place in the pole position shoot-out, qualified in fourth place ahead of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales.

Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Iannone and Danilo Petrucci made up the third row of the grid while Andrea Dovizioso completed the day’s top ten.

1 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’43.589
2 Jorge LORENZO Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’44.056 +0.467
3 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1’44.307 0.718
4 Hector BARBERA Avintia Racing Ducati 1’44.322 0.733
5 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’44.324 0.735
6 Maverick VIÑALES Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’44.329 0.740
7 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda 1’44.366 0.777
8 Andrea IANNONE Ducati Team 1’44.458 0.869
9 Danilo PETRUCCI OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 1’44.911 1.322
10 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’45.029 1.440
11 Scott REDDING OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 1’45.030 1.441
12 Pol ESPARGARO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’45.218 1.629
13 Aleix ESPARGARO Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’44.914
14 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’45.197
15 Michele PIRRO Avintia Racing 1’45.538
16 Yonny HERNANDEZ Aspar Team MotoGP 1’45.690
17 Eugene LAVERTY Aspar Team MotoGP 1’45.885
18 Stefan BRADL Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’45.892
19 Jack MILLER Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1’45.942
20 Tito RABAT Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1’46.205
21 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’46.463