Aragon MotoGP: Crash no barrier as Marquez claims pole

ALCAñIZ: MotoGP world championship leader Marc Marquez claimed pole position for the Aragon Grand Prix for the fourth consecutive season after overcoming a crash in practice yesterday.


The Spaniard dislocated his shoulder as one of seven riders to crash in the third free practice session.

Maverick Vinales and defending champion Jorge Lorenzo completed an all-Spanish front row.

Marquez’s closest championship rival Valentino Rossi will start from sixth with just five races remaining to cut into the two-time world champion’s 43-point lead.

The Honda rider has been dogged by shoulder problems already this season as he also dislocated his left shoulder in practice for the Austrian Grand Prix last month.

However, he appeared unbothered by the problem as he recovered to set the fastest time in both morning practice sessions before posting a lap of 1min 47.117sec that was too good for the field in qualifying.

“I’m very happy, above all with the fourth free practice where our pace was very good,” Marquez told Spanish TV station Movistar.

Lorenzo, who has won in Aragon for the past two seasons was well off the pace in practice, but did enough with his flying qualifying lap just before the session ended to climb into third.

“I knew I had to have a different strategy to other qualifying sessions,” said Lorenzo, who sits third in the championship standings, 61 points adrift of Marquez. “If you go too fast in the first lap you destroy the tyres for the second one, so I had to go slowly to go much faster in the second lap.”

However, Lorenzo’s Yamaha teammate Rossi has plenty of work to do today to avoid a potentially fatal blow to his chances of a 10th world title.

Britain’s Cal Crutchlow will start just ahead of Rossi in fifth despite crashing towards the end of qualifying.

Dani Pedrosa, winner in San Marino two weeks ago, also came off his bike to hinder his chances of another victory as Marquez’s teammate will start from seventh.



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