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MotoGP Aragon: Lorenzo beats Dovizioso, Marquez to third-straight pole

Jorge Lorenzo Ducati MotoGP Aragon 2018

Jorge Lorenzo took his fourth pole of the 2018 MotoGP season at Aragon, edging out Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso by 0.014 seconds, while Valentino Rossi could only qualify 18th.

Lorenzo and Dovizioso both set their fastest times on their last runs, when almost the entire Q2 field bunched together in one long train as multiple riders cruised for tows.

Honda's Marc Marquez had set the pace up to that point, concluding the opening runs with a best time of 1m46.960s to sit just over a tenth clear of Lorenzo.

But Marquez was one of those to lose out in the final shuffle as he did not improve after a small mistake at Turn 12, slipping to third as first Dovizioso and then Lorenzo profited from the slipstream to go quicker.

In the end, Lorenzo's 1m46.881s narrowly gave him a third pole in a row over Dovizioso, with Marquez 0.065s down in third.

Cal Crutchlow managed to hang on to fourth despite crashing his LCR Honda at Turn 12 in the closing stages, and will lead Suzuki's Andrea Iannone and the second works Honda of Dani Pedrosa on the second row on Sunday.

Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) was seventh ahead of the Nieto Ducati of Alvaro Bautista, Suzuki rider Alex Rins and Jack Miller (Pramac), who was not part of the main group of riders.

The top two from Q1, Yamaha's Maverick Vinales and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda), completed the Q2 order, with Vinales appearing to abandon his final lap.

While Vinales managed to escape Q1 by topping the session, his Yamaha team-mate Rossi was only eighth-fastest, marking his worst qualifying performance since the 2006 Dutch TT.

Valentino Rossi Yamaha MotoGP Aragon 2018

The Italian was only fifth-fastest after his opening run, half a second slower than Vinales, and then in the closing minutes of the session he coasted around looking for clear space on-track and simply ran out of time to post a hot lap.

It means he starts 18th, his lowest grid slot since he was sent to the back of the grid for the 2015 title decider at Valencia.

Nakagami managed to go second-quickest behind Vinales, ousting Honda rookie Franco Morbidelli (Marc VDS) from a spot in Q2.

Morbidelli will therefore head up the fifth row ahead of Johann Zarco's Tech3 Yamaha and the lead Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro.

Bradley Smith, KTM's sole runner again after Pol Espargaro's practice crash on Saturday morning, will start 16th ahead of Karel Abraham's Nieto Ducati and Rossi's Yamaha.

Jordi Torres brought up the rear in Q1 and will make his MotoGP race debut from 23rd on the grid on his Avintia Ducati.

Qualifying result

1Jorge LorenzoDucatiDucati1m46.881s-
2Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati1m46.895s0.014s
3Marc MarquezHondaHonda1m46.960s0.079s
4Cal CrutchlowLCR HondaHonda1m47.146s0.265s
5Andrea IannoneSuzukiSuzuki1m47.169s0.288s
6Dani PedrosaHondaHonda1m47.224s0.343s
7Danilo PetrucciPramac DucatiDucati1m47.351s0.470s
8Alvaro BautistaAspar DucatiDucati1m47.678s0.797s
9Alex RinsSuzukiSuzuki1m47.737s0.856s
10Jack MillerPramac DucatiDucati1m47.792s0.911s
11Takaaki NakagamiLCR HondaHonda1m48.284s1.403s
12Johann ZarcoTech3 YamahaYamaha1m48.052s1.171s
13Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia1m48.181s1.300s
14Maverick VinalesYamahaYamaha1m47.810s0.929s
15Bradley SmithKTMKTM1m48.216s1.335s
16Karel AbrahamAspar DucatiDucati1m48.398s1.517s
17Valentino RossiYamahaYamaha1m48.627s1.746s
18Hafizh SyahrinTech3 YamahaYamaha1m48.975s2.094s
19Franco MorbidelliMVDS HondaHonda1m48.009s1.128s
20Thomas LuthiMVDS HondaHonda1m48.988s2.107s
21Scott ReddingApriliaAprilia1m49.303s2.422s
22Xavier SimeonAvintia DucatiDucati1m49.699s2.818s
23Jordi TorresAvintia DucatiDucati1m50.336s3.455s

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