Crutchlow blasts to Spanish GP pole
MOTOGP - Spanish GP - Qualifying

Crutchlow blasts to Spanish GP pole

Cal Crutchlow broke MotoGP's Jerez track record to take pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Johann Zarco.

Crutchlow was fastest by 0.259s in an otherwise ultra-close session, where positions second to ninth were separated by just 0.130s.

The LCR Honda rider took the lead with 1m37.752 after swapping to his second bike following his short first run, demoting factory Honda rider Marc Marquez from first place.

That time was not beaten for the rest of the session, but Crutchlow managed to improve again after the chequered flag fell and took his fourth MotoGP pole position with a 1m37.653s.

Pedrosa and Zarco jumped into second and third with their own late flyers and will share the front row of tomorrow's race with Crutchlow.

Jorge Lorenzo finished fourth, with Marquez ending up being shuffled down to fifth.

Despite going fastest in the first two sectors of the track on three occasions, Marquez failed to improve his best lap every time.

Suzuki duo Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone ended up 0.007s and 0.010s behind Marquez in sixth and seventh.

The GP18s riders, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) and Danilo Petrucci (Pramac) took eighth and ninth, despite both being less than half a second off the pace.

It was a disappointing qualifying for the Yamaha factory pair Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales, as they ended up 10th and 11th, ahead of Pramac Ducati's Jack Miller.

Dovizioso and Vinales, the two biggest names taking part in Q1, successfully advanced to the second part of qualifying after missing out on an automatic spot in FP3.

The factory Ducati rider set a time of 1m38.402s on the only flyer of his first run, something the rest of the field couldn't match before the mid-session changes.

Dovizioso was the first to rejoin the track for his second run, and again only did one lap, with his 1m38.074s enough to secure first place.

Tito Rabat was second, 0.002s ahead of Vinales, after the first runs, but the latter edged by three tenths ahead on his second effort.

Rabat then crashed at Turn 1 shortly after his flyer and Aleix Espargaro took his place as Vinales' main challenger for the Q2 spot.

But a last-second effort from the Aprilia rider fell 0.040s short and he will start 13th.

Behind Espargaro, Honda rookies Takaaki Nakagami (LCR) and Franco Morbidelli (Marc VDS) will start 14th and 15th with Pol Espargaro leading KTM's efforts in 16th.

Rabat ended up in 17th.

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