Bike Racing

MotoGP qualifying report: Cal Crutchlow takes a lap record breaking pole position.

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Cal Cruchlow takes a stunning pole position in scorching conditions in Jerez with a brand new lap record 0.3 under Jorge Lorenzo’s previous record.

Q1 Kicked off with Andrea Dovizioso and Maverick Vinales having to take part in Q1 with the likes of Aleix Espargaro, Pol Espargaro and Tito Rabat also looking to get into Q2, Andrea Dovizioso uncharacteristically opted to use the winged fairing aboard his Factory Ducati however on his first flying lap he put in a strong 1:38.402, the quickest he has been all weekend. He was quickly joined by the Avintia Ducati of Tito Rabat who got a tow off the Yamaha of Maverick Vinales.

On Andrea Dovizioso’s second run he put in a 1:38.074 nearly 0.4 of a second faster than his previous lap, Maverick Vinales knocked Tito Rabat off P2 with a 1:38.349, Rabat couldn’t fight back as he lost the front into turn 1 with just a couple of minutes left of the session.

Aleix Espargaro gritted his teeth to try to knock Maverick Vinales out of the Q2 position but missed out by just +0.040 on his Gresini Aprillia. The full Q1 results can be found here.

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Q2 kicked off with Andrea Iannone posting a scorching 1:37.987 on his first flying lap only to be knocked off of top spot by none other than Marc Marquez who went only -0.010 quicker.

Alex Rins on a medium tyre managed to provisionally get on the front row again only to be knocked down by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo ended the first run 6th with LCR Honda man Cal Crutchlow 5th.

Tyres changed, and bikes checked they rolled out for the final run of Q2. Could anyone topple Marquez off top spot? What did Suzuki have left? Crutchlow was the first man to attack Marquez’s time, up in the first three sectors, and in the final sector he grabbed provisional pole with a 1:37.752, a new lap record!

Marquez tried hard to fight back but could not top the LCR Honda, He had one more lap left to try to beat the Brit but again he lost a lot of time in the final sector.

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It was Jorge Lorenzo who was the biggest threat in the dying moments but like Marquez lost time in the 4th sector ending the session 4th, Cal Crutchlow again came across the line to break his own lap record minutes later putting in a blistering 1:37.653, his first pole position since Silverstone 2016.

The Factory Yamaha duo again struggled with the heat, with Valentino Rossi finishing P10 and Maverick Vinales P11, Factory Yamaha’s demise was again Tech 3 man Johann Zarco’s gain, planting his Yamaha on the front row for the 4th time in 4 races.

Dani Pedrosa managed to secure P2 with his team-mate and bookies favourite for pole, Marquez, shockingly only managing fifth.

The stage is set for what is shaping up to look like a classic at Jerez, with the field so tight on race pace it’s anyone’s guess who will take the spoils on Sunday in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Q2 full results can be found here.

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Featured Image Credit: Events Gallery

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