Argentina MotoGP: Marquez eclipses Vinales for pole

Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez took pole position for the Argentina Grand Prix after beating Maverick Vinales and Andrea Dovizioso in a typically frenetic qualifying shootout.

Argentina MotoGP: Marquez eclipses Vinales for pole

After topping the pre-qualifying FP4 session despite suffering a rare mechanical failure, Marquez seized the initiative early on in Q2 at Termas de Rio Hondo with an early benchmark of 1m38.767s.

LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow was the only other rider to breach the 1m39s in the first runs, but when the second runs commenced it was Yamaha man Vinales that shot to the top of the timing screens with a 1m38.458s, the quickest lap of the weekend so far.

But on his final flyer, Marquez responded with a 1m38.304s to grab his fifth pole in six attempts in Argentina, beating Vinales by 0.154s.

Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso briefly went second behind Vinales with a time just a hundredth of a second slower, but was demoted to third when Marquez moved to the top.

Valentino Rossi narrowly missed a spot on the front row with a time 0.241s off the pace on the second factory Yamaha, while Jack Miller completed the top five on the Pramac Ducati.

Petronas Yamaha duo Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo bagged sixth and seventh on the grid ahead of Crutchlow, who failed to improve on his second run.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR) and Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) completed the top 10, while Jorge Lorenzo qualified 11th, but had his best time deleted due to track limits at Turn 14, and will only start 12th behind KTM's Pol Espargaro.

Q1: Suzuki misses the cut, Iannone last

The opening segment of qualifying was topped by Nakagami, who punched in an early lap of 1m39.279s and then improved to a 1m39.064s to stay on top throughout.

Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro held the other Q2 transfer spot after the opening runs with a time less than a tenth slower than Nakagami, but he was demoted by younger brother Pol in the closing stages.

That means he will head up row five, ahead of an impressive Miguel Oliveira on the best of the Tech 3 KTMs and Karel Abraham's Avintia Ducati.

Alex Rins could muster only the sixth-best time in Q1 on the best of the Suzukis and will start Sunday's race down in 16th, three places ahead of rookie teammate Joan Mir.

Johann Zarco will start his second race for KTM from 18th, while new Aprilia recruit Andrea Iannone ended up 12th and slowest of all in Q1, consigning him to the very back of the grid.

Q2 times:

Pos. # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 93 Spain Marc Marquez  Honda 1'38.304  
2 12 Spain Maverick Viñales  Yamaha 1'38.458 0.154
3 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 1'38.468 0.164
4 46 Italy Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 1'38.545 0.241
5 43 Australia Jack Miller  Ducati 1'38.548 0.244
6 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli  Yamaha 1'38.886 0.582
7 20 France Fabio Quartararo  Yamaha 1'38.897 0.593
8 35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow  Honda 1'38.955 0.651
9 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami  Honda 1'39.038 0.734
10 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 1'39.093 0.789
11 44 Spain Pol Espargaro  KTM 1'39.489 1.185
12 99 Spain Jorge Lorenzo  Honda 1'39.520 1.216

Q1 times:

Pos. # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami  Honda 1'39.064  
2 44 Spain Pol Espargaro  KTM 1'39.217 0.153
3 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro  Aprilia 1'39.288 0.224
4 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira  KTM 1'39.298 0.234
5 17 Czech Republic Karel Abraham  Ducati 1'39.331 0.267
6 42 Spain Alex Rins  Suzuki 1'39.384 0.320
7 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia  Ducati 1'39.387 0.323
8 5 France Johann Zarco  KTM 1'39.571 0.507
9 36 Spain Joan Mir  Suzuki 1'39.605 0.541
10 53 Spain Tito Rabat  Ducati 1'39.978 0.914
11 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin  KTM 1'40.053 0.989
12 29 Italy Andrea Iannone  Aprilia 1'40.118 1.054
shares
comments
Argentina MotoGP: Marquez tops FP3, Dovizioso crashes

Previous article

Argentina MotoGP: Marquez tops FP3, Dovizioso crashes

Next article

Iannone explains struggles after qualifying last

Iannone explains struggles after qualifying last
Load comments
Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward.

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Prime

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Prime

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Prime

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout.

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021