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Sep 23, 2017

MotoGP: Maverick Vinales On Pole, Valentino Rossi Qualifies On Front Row At Motorland Aragon (Updated)

Maverick Vinales (left) and Valentino Rossi (right) at Motorland Aragon.

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Motorland Aragon, Spain

September 23, 2017

Qualifying Results (all on Michelin tires):

From Qualifying Two:

1. Maverick VIÑALES, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:47.635

2. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (DUCATI), 1:47.735

3. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:47.815

4. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (HONDA), 1:47.830

5. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:47.963, crash

6. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:48.107

7. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:48.137

8. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (APRILIA), 1:48.159

9. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (DUCATI), 1:48.187, crash

10. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (SUZUKI), 1:48.289

11. Johann ZARCO, France (YAMAHA), 1:48.402

12. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KTM), 1:48.471

From Qualifying One:

13. Jack MILLER, Australia (HONDA), 1:48.179

14. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (KTM), 1:48.387

15. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (DUCATI), 1:48.467

16. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (DUCATI), 1:48.908

17. Loris BAZ, France (DUCATI), 1:48.911

18. Jonas FOLGER, Germany (YAMAHA), 1:49.034

19. Hector BARBERA, Spain (DUCATI), 1:49.052

20. Alex RINS, Spain (SUZUKI), 1:49.233

21. Tito RABAT, Spain (HONDA), 1:49.258

22. Scott REDDING, UK (DUCATI), 1:49.288

23. Bradley SMITH, UK (KTM), 1:49.578

24. Sam LOWES, UK (APRILIA), 1:50.769

More, from a press release issued by Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS:

Miller set for strong performance in 100th Grand Prix start

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller will start tomorrow’s Aragon Grand Prix from 13th on the fifth row of the grid.

The 23-lap race at the 5.078m Motorland Circuit will be career milestone for the 22-year-old Australian who will be making his 100th Grand Prix start.

After the inclement weather and damp track conditions for Friday practice today’s qualifying was run in warm and sunny conditions with the track temperature rising to 40 degrees.

However the loss of dry track running on Friday cut short set-up time for Miller and teammate Tito Rabat to maximise the performance of their Honda RC213V machines.

Both riders suffered harmless crashes in earlier free practice sessions as they searched for the limit with grip levels rising in near perfect conditions.

Miller made a thrilling bid for a place in Q2 with an on-the-limit performance that left him just 0.009s short of progressing through to the second qualifying session.

After being 14th on the timesheets after FP3 Rabat lost some front feeling in qualifying and his best time of 1’49.258 will see him start from 21st on the grid for round 14 of MotoGP World Championship.

Jack Miller: 13th - 1’48.307

“I did all my fast laps riding alone so I’m confident I have a good pace for the race although it’s pity to miss Q2 by such a tiny margin, just nine thousandths of a second. I had a small crash in FP3 and that changed our game plan a little, which hurt our chances of progressing to Q2. But overall today has been a really solid day and we have a good platform for a strong race, I have a good feeling here.”

Tito Rabat: 21st - 1’49.258

“To be honest I was expecting a little bit more from qualifying after my performance in FP3 but I didn’t have the perfect feeling with the front-end with lack of time to test the tyres on a dry track. But I came back strong at the end of the qualifying session with a good time despite a small crash in FP4. But I have a good feeling for the race and if the weather is like today we have a clearer idea now for our tyre choice.”

Ramon Aurin: Jack Miller Chief Engineer

“Today was a busy day trying to make up time to find a race set-up in the sunny conditions after the rain on Friday which meant the grip levels were down when we started FP3 this morning. This adds to the pressure of qualifying and being ready to do a fast lap and getting the tyres to their optimum temperature and then use then to the maximum. Jack has a strong race pace but the big question will be tomorrow, with the prediction of warmer conditions and higher grip levels, so we will use the warm-up session to assess the suitability of both the medium and hard rear tyre for the race.”

More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Zarco to kick off Aragon GP from 11th - Resolute Folger ready for the fight

Johann Zarco will confidently begin the 14th round of the MotoGP World Championship from the 4th row of the grid. The French star endured a challenging morning and went through to Q1, but here, he produced a strong lap time that allowed him to progress into qualifying 2. Zarco carried on his hard work and eventually finished the shootout in 11th yet only 0.587 adrift of the front row.

Meanwhile, Jonas Folger made a heroic effort to qualify in 18th for tomorrow’s race. The young German suffered misfortune this morning whereby he fell heavily in FP3. He was taken to the local hospital and checked for neck injuries but was deemed fit to ride. Folger bounced back by finishing FP4 in 5th, and then went on to complete Q1 in 18th.

Johann Zarco

Position: 11th - Time: 1'48.402 - Laps: 6

“I gave everything that I could which was a 1’48.3 lap time in Q1 and I wasn’t able to improve on it in Qualifying 2. It’s difficult when you do your best and end up in 11th but I am still optimistic for the race. After the crash this morning, my confidence was not at its highest. Yet, in FP4 I felt much better because we changed the bike and my feeling really improved. We did a solid job to get through to Q2 but I think we reached our limit in the first qualifying shootout. This is because you need to do a good lap time with the extra grip on the new tyre and we couldn’t use it well enough which is why it was complicated. However, from what we know already, it looks like I have fewer issues on used tyres compared to the other riders and in this case, the gap is lower. This is important for tomorrow, but after the trouble that we had in FP3, it’s good to start from 11th and I will keep this positive thought in my mind.”

Jonas Folger

Position: 18th - Time: 1'49.034 - Laps: 7

"It has been a difficult weekend for us so far. I had a strange crash at the first corner in FP3 and then in qualifying, I was not able to improve that much like the other riders did. I am 18th on the grid for the race but before then, I am sure that we can find a solution so that I feel better on the bike. Nevertheless, I hope to collect a lot of points tomorrow and I will do my very best like always."

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:



Aleix Espargaró put in a great performance, first finishing FP3 with the seventh best time to go straight through to the Q2 session and then riding his Aprilia to the third row of the starting grid (eighth best time at 1'48.159) for the race tomorrow.

The weather conditions that finally stabilised and the dry track let Espargaró bring out the best from his Italian V4. In all the Saturday sessions, including FP4, dedicated to finding the best race setup, he was well within the top ten and then he made a grand finish with a nice qualifying session.

In standings that are characterised by minimal gaps between the best, Aleix finished just 52 hundredths behind pole position. This is a significant result and another important benchmark in the growth of the RS-GP which, race after race, continues to draw closer and closer to the top spots in the rankings.

Sam Lowes had to deal with two crashes in the final two free practice sessions leading up to the qualifiers and he was then unlucky, running into traffic in Q1 and therefore forced to settle for the eighth row with the 24th best time at 1'50.769.


"Overall, I am satisfied. I am having fun riding on this track and I must say that the RS-GP is performing really well. In terms of chassis it is fantastic. We are still lacking something where speed is concerned, but in all the other areas we have reached a very good level. It will be very hot tomorrow and a lot of riders will struggle with the tyres toward the end of the race. 23 laps are a lot, but I think that from this point of view, we are starting from a good base."


"I guess I just shouldn't do the qualifying, because they never go right for me! I ran into traffic on the track and that basically kept me from doing a good lap. In any case, we worked rather well in view of tomorrow. The expected rise in temperature could be an advantage for us, because we struggle less than the others with grip loss and tyre wear. We need to try something in the warm up session with the balance of the bike, but I feel like I can be in the game for the race. We have some pretty clear ideas about which tyres to use and I did my best time on the sixteenth lap of the race simulation, so I'll sleep well knowing that."

More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:


Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi gave an incredible show in today‘s Q2 session, securing the team‘s fourth double front row of the season.

Alcañiz (Spain), 23rd September 2017

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team completely turned its fortunes around on the second day at the MotorLand Aragón circuit. Maverick Viñales delivered the goods exactly when it mattered, securing pole position for the second time in a row. Valentino Rossi gave a staggering performance and rode his bike to a brilliant third place, while still recovering from his leg injury.

Following a strong closing stage to FP4, where Viñales secured first place, the Spaniard was in a good mindset to fire his YZR-M1 over the Spanish track during the 15-minute shoot-out. He was the second to last man out of the gates in Q2 and found some clear space when he appeared on track. He only needed a little bit of time to get up to speed, setting the provisional second fastest time on his second try, before heading back to pit lane to get a fresh set of tyres, with more than six and a half minutes on the clock.

Once back on the track, he was in the zone. The youngster, who was riding with a new design helmet to celebrate his home GP this weekend, put his head down again and posted a 1‘47.635s to take over the top spot from his teammate, with 1m40s still on the clock. He had time for one more attempt, but his previous lap remained unbeaten, earning him his fifth pole of the season so far, with a 0.100s-advantage over his closest rival.

Rossi rode a superb FP3 session, securing tenth place, to promote directly to Q2 just 23 days after breaking his right leg. In the qualifying session the Italian steadily build up speed over his two first tries, but was unable to breach into the low 1‘48s just yet. He held tenth place as he headed to the box, with slightly more than seven minutes to go.

A little while later, the Doctor was back in action and immediately dropped an impressive 1‘47.815s for provisional pole, but was soon pushed down the order as various riders completed their last attempt. Rossi ended the day in third position, just 0.180s behind his teammate in first place.



After a difficult first day, today‘s results are superb for the entire team. The crew worked really hard, as we had little time to prepare ourselves for a dry Q2 session, and they got the job done. Maverick knew he had the pace and speed with his bike and his 1‘47.635s pole position lap shows just how comfortable he is. He knew exactly what he had to do and delivered, securing his second pole in a row. The whole team also applauds Valentino for his incredible performance. We know from experience that he can make the impossible possible, and he proved it again today. Not only did he advance straight to Q2, while still recovering, but he also secured a brilliant third place after briefly holding the P1 spot. All-in-all it‘s been a very rewarding day for the team. We hope to keep this momentum going for tomorrow in the warm up as we prepare for the race. We still have some information missing, mainly on the tyre specification and durability. The warm up will be fundamental to get a better understanding before we make decisions for the race.


The conditions were a little bit more difficult compared to this morning, to make a good lap, but anyway the team did a great job so I‘m really happy. Every time we‘re doing better qualifications and we‘re more consistent on the bike. I hope we can keep these good feelings, especially before the race tomorrow. We have been improving a lot since the Misano test. The dry bike has good potential and rides well all the time, but we have to improve in the rain, so we‘re keeping that in mind, in order to be consistent. Honestly, it‘s incredible what Valentino did today, I have no words. He always delivers great results and it‘s positive that Valentino is also fast, because we can see things on the bike and compare the data for tomorrow.


I think we did a great job after sustaining the injury. I have to thank all the people that helped me, starting with the doctor that did the surgery. After that I worked very hard every day with my trainer and the leg is becoming better every day. Sincerely, on the bike I feel some pain, but I can ride quite comfortably, so I‘m very happy. It‘s very important to start from the front row and now we have to understand the pace and also if I‘m able to push until the end, but anyway I‘m happy.

More, from a press release issued by Reale Avintia Racing:

Reale Avintia Racing team set for Aragon Grand Prix

Following the wet practice sessions on Friday, the MotoGP riders started in full attack mode in warm and sunny conditions today. FP3 became crucial today and although Reale Avintia Racing riders Hector Barbera and Loris Baz did their very best, they didn’t pass directly to Q2.

The only positive thing about today was Hector Barbera’s race pace in FP4, which made the Spanish rider confident on recovering some places during tomorrow’s 23-lap-race, which he will start from the 19th place of the grid. He will have the support of his home crowd, the best fans in the world, which means an additional boost of motivation for the race.

Loris Baz was faster than Hector in one single lap, and he will start the race from 17th place of the grid. But the Frenchman still have some work to do during the warm-up session to try to improve his feelings and his race pace.

Loris Baz | 1’48.911 | P17

“Today was a difficult day. Yesterday I said that it will be important to get the best base set up from the beginning, and we didn’t find it. All day long, the bike didn’t work at its maximum; we tried many changesm but we didn’t improve. We are losing time at many areas of the track although my best lap is not so bad. We must keep working and trying different things during warm-up to improve the rear grip, reduce the movements of the bike and get a better feeling. We’ll see how far we can get in the race. Once again, the goal will be the top ten.”

Hector Barbera | 1’49.052 | P19

“The day didn’t go as planned, but unfortunately this is something that we have been experiencing from the beginning of the season. When I have to push hard for a lap time, I have too much chatter in the front which seems impossible to fix and which I’m not able to overcome with my riding style. I’m not comfortable riding the bike and this makes me brake before I should. It’s a shame because we always want to do the best in our home races. And although I’ll leave the team and the MotoGP class at the end of the season, I would love to celebrate a good result with Reale Avintia Racing team. I would like to finish the year with a sweet taste in the mouth, for my team, for the sponsors and also for myself. I’ll give my best tomorrow and I’ll try everything to be fighting for a top ten result, because this would be a big step in our preparation of the overseas triple.”

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Front row start in Aragón GP for Jorge Lorenzo, second in qualifying. Andrea Dovizioso, seventh, will start from row 3

Jorge Lorenzo powered his way to a front row start for the Aragón Grand Prix with the second-quickest time this afternoon in the Q2 qualifying session. This morning the Ducati Team’s rider from Mallorca had to settle for the eleventh-quickest time in the FP3 session, which meant he took part in Q1, but there he went on to top the timesheets. In the second qualifying session Jorge then set a time of 1’47.735 which put him into second place on the grid and a front row start, just a tenth away from the pole time of Viñales.

It will be a row 3 start for Andrea Dovizioso, who this morning gained direct access into Q2 with sixth-quickest time in FP3. In qualifying the Italian rider finished seventh with a time of 1’48.137, and he will start tomorrow’s 23-lap Aragón GP from row 3.

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 1’47.735 (2nd)

“Today we did a really good job and I’m pleased with my progress from this morning until this afternoon. I had some great sensations both in FP4 and in qualifying and it was quite a surprise to be on the front row if you look at my times this morning. This time it was useful to take part in Q1 because I was able to do a lot more laps with the soft tyres and prepare better for Q2. I think I have a good pace, but it will be very important to choose the rear tyre and manage it well during the race. In any case I’m ready to do a good race tomorrow.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’48.137 (7th)

“Unfortunately, because of the conditions we found yesterday, today we didn’t have much time to work on the bike and try the various types of tyres available. Before qualifying I didn’t have a great feeling, but I managed anyway to set a good time and we are all pretty close together. Even though I’m starting a bit behind in seventh place, I think I have a good chance for the race and tomorrow it will be the choice of rear tyre that will make all the difference. For us all three options are interesting and we haven’t decided which one to choose yet so this evening me and my team will have to study the data well.”

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Marquez and Pedrosa on second row at MotorLand Aragon

Under the sunny skies that blessed the second day of the Aragon Grand Prix, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa qualified in fifth and sixth places, respectively, and tomorrow will start side by side from the second row together with fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow.

The Repsol Honda men were fast in the dry today, as they had been yesterday in the wet. Marc was first in FP3 and third in FP4, and set the provisional fastest lap in his first attempt in qualifying. A crash at turn 12 during his second flying lap prevented him from fighting for the pole.

Dani also showed a good pace in FP3 (third fastest) and FP4 (second fastest) and just missed a perfect lap in qualifying, but he’s looking forward to tomorrow’s race.

Marc Marquez 93

5TH 1'47.963

“Today wasn’t easy because with conditions completely different from yesterday, we started from zero and maybe we didn’t immediately find the best direction with the setup of the bike. I was fast in FP3 but actually I wasn’t feeling perfectly comfortable. We made some changes for FP4 and I finally felt good on my last run with used tyres. That’s positive and we’ll keep working in that direction in the warm-up to further improve the setup. In qualifying I probably pushed a bit too much, went wide, and crashed. So, second row is not the best, but our speed is there and I’m happy with that. We need to analyse everything and make a good tyre choice, which will be challenging as we don't have much data, but anyway, I think we have the pace to fight for the podium.”

Dani Pedrosa 26

6TH 1'48.107

“Today we tried to do the best work possible for the dry conditions, working as much as we could on our bike’s setup and on tyres. We didn't have much time to try everything we wanted, so we made the choices we think will work better for the race. I was able to lap fast in FP3 and FP4, while in qualifying unfortunately I wasn’t able to do two very good laps. Anyway, we have to look to tomorrow now, to finalize the setup in the warm-up, and to correctly choose the tyres. Marc and Maverick look very strong, so we must keep focused and try to make no mistakes.”

More, from a press release issued by Octo Pramac Racing:

Petrux and Scott to start #AragonGP from sixth and eight row after difficult qualifying

It was a difficult Saturday for Octo Pramac Racing at Motorland of Aragon. Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding couldn’t be competitive in Q1 and will start tomorrow in P16 and P22 respectively.

Petrux had grip problems at the rear already from FP3, and for this reason he was not able to find confidence before Q1. During the time attacks in the qualifying, the Italian rider couldn’t find the ideal conditions in order to push and conquer the Q2.

On the other hand, also Scott had a FP3 below the expectations. During the FP4 however, the English rider was lapping consistently and this could allow him to have a strong comeback tomorrow, in view of a bad Q1 ended in P22.

16th - Danilo Petrucci

"I did not expect such a difficult day. I don’t have any confidence with the front in the fast corners and the grip at the rear is a problem. Starting from behind will be hard tomorrow, for this reason I think that ending in top 10 will be a good result".

22th - Scott Redding

"Qualifying went badly. This was my worst qualify but if I have to be honest I still have confidence for the race. In FP4 the pace was really good. I think I can do a good comeback tomorrow".

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:


LCR Honda MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow will start Sunday’s Aragon Grand Prix from the second row of the grid after an impressive qualifying performance in north-eastern Spain. The British rider has looked in good form all weekend at the technical Motorland track, and backed up his promise with an excellent fourth place in the 15-minute shootout.

Crutchlow was almost caught out on his fast lap, riding closely behind his factory Honda colleague Marc Marquez as the Spaniard slipped out at turn 12, however he kept his cool to set a best time of 1’47.830. That means he starts the race as the top Honda rider on the grid, and is hopeful of fulfilling his pre-event aims of challenging for the podium spots.

Cal Crutchlow –4th

(1’47.830 – lap 6 of 7)

"Of course, I would have preferred the front row but I was just not close enough and tried my absolute best as always. I took advantage of Marc being in front of me, but then he crashed. I’d wanted to get a slipstream off him on the back straight, and it was the only reason I followed him because I knew it would give me one and a half tenths in a straight line. Then he crashed before the back straight, so it’s his fault I didn’t take the pole position!

“Seriously though, I am happy. We did a good job but we also have to give credit to the riders on the front row. Tomorrow we look forward to a good race and what will be a great battle - I think there will be six or seven riders able to be competitive at the front, and I’m not sure if Andrea Dovizioso will be one of them. We have to take advantage of this as much as possible.

“Let’s see, anything can happen tomorrow. I think it’s possible to be in the top five and aim for the podium. We have to get away with the front guys, and then see what happens.”

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:


After a first day marked by rain, today the sunshine popped out on the Motorland circuit and the MotoGP riders were able to complete two sessions in favourable conditions.

The two Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders worked hard to find the best set-ups for the race with the short time they had. Andrea Iannone managed to sneak into the top ten for tomorrow's race, while Alex Rins, with some difficulties, had to settle for 20th place.

With a warmer temperature on the asphalt of the Aragonese circuit, Andrea Iannone managed to get directly into Q2 during Free Practice 3. His feeling with the bike has improved over the last races and the Italian rider was able to keep some soft rubber for the final round. In his attack against the stopwatch, Andrea gained a valuable tenth position that puts him in the fourth row of the grid.

Alex, on the other hand, had some difficulties finding the best set-up with the GSX-RR and was forced to compete in the Q1. He pushed with all his might but had to make do with the 20th position on the grid.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager

“With Andrea we managed to get into the top ten and I think that after the last races it is very positive sign. Tomorrow he will be better placed on the grid. We will see what steps we can take in the race regarding the pace. Today we were able to ride on dry conditions and we will have to evaluate what we can do to improve in the race, because there are some aspects in which we can do better. With Alex we were not able to do better, and we expected a better performance. With only one dry day and considering that he does not yet have so much experience, he was not able to get a better result. We will try to take advantage of the warm-up and take some steps to be more prepared for the race.”

Andrea Iannone

“I honestly think one or two tenths better and we could have gotten it, and we probably could have advanced some positions on the grid because the lap times were pretty tight. I failed in the T1 and I went long in the first corner; this is due to the fact that we are always at our limits and close to an error. I think we're even closer than other tracks anyway. And this is more positive, besides I had fun riding and I feel I was able to try and push. We hope that tomorrow we can have a good race and be able to cut off a tenth more to be able to fight with the group.”

Alex Rins

“I am quite happy about how this second day has gone. Today was the first day on dry conditions and I have been struggling a bit, but then I have been improving and I have felt good with the bike. Let's see if we can take a step forward tomorrow during the warm-up so we can be better prepared for the race.” 

More, from a press release issued by released Dorna:

Viñales on pole, Rossi on the front row and a crash for Marquez

Movistar Yamahas split by Lorenzo at MotorLand after the reigning Champion slides out of contention for pole

Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) has taken pole position for the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon, exactly a tenth of a second ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) at the front as compatriot and key title rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) tumbled out of contention. There was more headline news as Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) added another chapter to his incredible comeback, qualifying on the front row in third after missing only one event following his leg injury.

Under blue and sunny skies at the stunning MotorLand Aragon, FP3 had seen a shootout for Q2 entry that lit up the timesheets, and Jorge Lorenzo was the high profile name left to head through Q1. But the five-time World Champion easily moved through, subsequently qualifying on the front row.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) was the man to lose out late on as he was pushed down to fourth, but the two-time GP winner remains top Independent Team rider. Reigning Champion Marc Marquez, despite his crash – rider ok – will start in the middle of the second row, which is completed by teammate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team).

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) had a solid session to take seventh and will be looking to move forward and track Championship rival Marquez, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) impressing in P8 at the venue where he took his first premier class podium. Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) lines up ninth despite a crash, with Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) taking P10.

Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was eleventh quickest after moving through Q1, with Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) lining up in P12 as he wildcards and impresses once again. Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) missed out on Q2 by only thousandths and starts P13, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) locking out the fastest fifteen for the grid.

Now it’s time to race, with equal points at the top between Marquez and Dovizioso – both of whom start off the front row – Rossi fighting through the pain barrier, and Viñales ready to strike from pole.

MotoGP Qualifying Results

1 - Maverick Viñales (SPA - Yamaha) 1'47.635

2 - Jorge Lorenzo (SPA - Ducati) +0.100

3 - Valentino Rossi (ITA - Yamaha) +0.180

1st Independent Team Rider:

P4 - Cal Crutchlow (GBR - Honda) +0.195

Oliveira wows with #AragonGP pole

Portuguese rider secures the second pole of the year for KTM - despite some late doubts

Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took his second pole of the year at Aragon, just pushing Matta Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) off the top spot despite a late cliffhanger as the Portuguese rider’s lap was cancelled and then subsequently re-instated. That leaves Pasini second but once again showing incredible pace to take the front row, with last year’s podium finisher Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completing it in P3 as he comes back from injury after missing Misano.

Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) came across the line in P4 to lead the second row, ahead of a fifth place for veteran Italian Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) and sixth for the winner in the Moto3™ class at last year’s Aragon GP - Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) - who was the top rookie.

Championship challenger Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) heads the third row after topping Friday’s wet FP1, now only nine points down on Championship leader Morbidelli and looking to move forward off the line. He lines up just ahead of the Dynavolt Intact GP team, as Marcel Schrötter and Sandro Cortese start from eighth and ninth on the grid respectively – Schrötter as he comes back from injury and Cortese after great pace all weekend.

Idemitsu Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami is another who will be looking for a good launch as he took tenth, edging out San Marino GP winner Dominic Aegerter (Kiefer Racing). A late fall at turn 14 for Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) saw the Italian miss a chance to improve his laptime, the the rookie nevertheless took P12.

Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team) qualified in P13, with rookie Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) making a lunge during the final minutes and taking P14, just in front of RW Racing GP’s Axel Pons as the Spaniard rounds out the first fifteen.

The Moto2™ race kicks off on Sunday at 12:20 (GMT +2).

Moto2 Qualifying Results

1 - Miguel Oliveira (POR - KTM) 1:53.736

2 - Mattia Pasini (ITA - Kalex) +0.021

3 - Alex Marquez (SPA - Kalex) +0.071

Magnificent seventh: Martin on pole as drama hits qualifying

Pole number seven for the Spaniard before a crash, with some extra late drama added for good measure

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) kept up his stunning pace from Saturday morning in qualifying, searing around MotorLand Aragon for a 1:58.067 to take pole by over three tenths – before then crashing out when another two tenths up on his final run; rider ok. Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) – the pole position record holder – lines up in P2, with teammate Aron Canet completing the front row despite a highside in FP3.

After Martin’s crash, there was another incident that affected many after a highside for Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) set off a domino effect throughout a train of riders, including Joan Mir (Leopard Racing). Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) was the first to take avoiding action, with Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing), Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and the Championship leader all caught up in the incident.

Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) took fourth, just ahead of wildcard and current FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship leader Dennis Foggia (Sky Junior Team VR46 Riders Academy). Points leader Mir was sixth fastest, caught out by the late drama, with John McPhee (British Talent Team) having a solid session in seventh.

Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) was eighth quickest and bounced back in style from an FP3 crash, with Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) completing the top ten.

Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) was eleventh, ahead of Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team), late crasher Adam Norrodin and passenger in the incident Fabio Di Giannantonio. Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) locked out the fastest fifteen.

Pending review by Race Direction, some grid positions may be liable to change.

Moto3 Qualifying Results

1 - Jorge Martin (SPA - Honda) +1'58.516

2 - Enea Bastianini (ITA - Honda) +0.358

3 - Aron Canet (SPA - Honda) + 0.449

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM:


QUALIFYING 14th Rd. MotoGP 2017 – MotorLand Aragon (ESP)

Fog cleared for fantastic conditions today at the Aragon circuit in Spain, bringing with it a day of positives for KTM as Mika Kallio headed the charge of three Red Bull KTM RC16 motorcycles, brilliantly advancing to Q2 and then being in a top seven position in qualifying itself before an unlucky off put him twelfth on the grid. Miguel Oliviera doesn't have a home Grand Prix in Portugal but the Aragon race is close...and it proved to his advantage as he took another pole position in Moto2 for the second time this year. In Moto3, the highest KTM was Niccolo Bulega in fourth, but the ride of the day went to Spanish Championship leader Dennis Foggia who is riding in only his second Grand Prix and yet brilliantly qualified fifth. Aragon is one of the few anti-clockwise tracks on the calendar and is expected to see a huge crowd trackside tours for all four races as the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup has its last race of the season following today's race in which Kazuki Masaki won the 2017 title.


Following a successful test after the Misano Grand Prix, updated parts were brought to Aragon to further push forward the KTM MotoGP project with test rider Mika Kallio doing a wildcard for the third time this year. Mika had huge pace on the KTM RC16 in free practice to be fifth and assure himself a place in the all important Q2 qualifying slot. The Finn flew on the first run to be a stunning seventh, but fell through the last corner on his second run denying him the opportunity to set an absolute time. Nevertheless he will start in 12th position.

Team mate Pol Espargaro did huge steps forward technically today and was only 0.1 secs from going through to Q2 as he quickly acquainted himself with new parts too, but this speed is hugely encouraging for the technical side of things both at the track and back in KTM Motorsport HQ in Austria. Bradley Smith had pace and speed but got caught up with other riders on his faster laps.

Kallio: "Definitely a positive day, yes! If we look back on how the day went we can be really satisfied as now I have a feeling on the bike that was missing before. KTM have now done a really good improvement coupled with the new parts they've brought to this race it helps me to be quicker and closer to the limits. OK, slightly too much to the limit at the end, but that was my mistake and we don't need to think about that too much as now I know what the limit is on the last corner! I think in the race tomorrow we have some good chance to at least to be similar to where we were in Austria (10th) but if you look where we were this morning (5th) then anything can happen during the race so I need a good start and give full throttle to see the flag as soon as possible."

Espargaro: "We weren't quite there this morning as I was using some new parts as we have to develop. We have to test things for next year, so the bike wasn't quite to the optimum set up at first. Of course it would've been great to go straight to Q2 but I made a slight mistake in the last corner and lost the smallest amount of time but it meant I was in Q1. The points are tomorrow and the preparation for that in FP4 was great, leading me to finish fourth; the bike was feeling really good so now I'm looking forward to get to the warm up for the last changes and then the race because I think it can be a good race for us."

Smith: "The overall day was OK. In FP4 we seemed to find something on race tyres and for a bike that's going to be solid over race distance. Then I was pleased with a 1m 49.5 on the first run on the new tyre but on the second run I got caught up with another rider on both laps so that was my own error. The good thing is that the bike is working very well here and I've got some fast data to check and help me improve in order to find my way through the pack tomorrow."

Sebastian Risse (Technical Director MotoGP): "In total we are happy. For sure we always want more but this was not a bad day at all. Yesterday's rain cut things short a little in terms of set up time especially as we brought some new parts and of course we want to understand what's better, but in the end the performance today has shown that these parts are good and that we've made a step forward. Mika here with Pol and Bradley has seen them push each other to the limit – sometimes that works, sometimes that doesn't, but all three of them tried very hard indeed. Let us not forget that between a qualifying time and the race pace it can be a different story so we will see what we will show best in the end but I'm very positive that they will all show their best tomorrow. I'm very positive indeed."


Miguel Oliveira brilliantly sped to KTM's second pole position in the Moto2 class in only the first year of the project with Red Bull Ajo. The Portuguese has already had five podiums this year including his first pole at just the second race in Argentina. Oliveira won the Moto3 race here two years ago but is under no illusion as to how difficult it will be tomorrow in the hugely competitive race.

Team mate Brad Binder proved just how competitive the class is with his best lap just 1.1 seconds back of pole, but it leaves the reigning Moto3 champion in twentieth position. Be sure to watch him in the first few laps as he looks to make another trademark rocket start on his KTM Moto2 bike.

Oliveira: "The truth is that we couldn't ask for more. This pole position will be very important for the start of tomorrow's race. We're confident because we have a very good pace, although other riders do as well. I think there could be a group at the front, so we will have to be prepared to fight – especially when the tyres begin to drop off. It will be interesting to see who is strong then. After getting pole, seeing there had been a penalty and then having it given back, we could say that I already did my warmup for tomorrow walking up and down pitlane! Even if I hadn't been given it in the end, I would still have been happy with my pace."

Binder: "Both yesterday and this morning I didn't feel very comfortable with the bike, but for qualifying we changed to a setup with which I am more accustomed and everything improved a lot. We weren't able to complete a very fast lap, but my pace is fairly good, even if it only gave us 20th position. There are some points on the track where if everything goes well, I know that I can gain positions and do a good job tomorrow. I am prepared and determined to make another great comeback."


A second row start was taken by Niccolo Bulega today in Moto3 with his Team Sky VR46 KTM but it was Dennis Foggia, the Italian who currently holds a huge lead in the Moto3 CEV championship and this weekend rides his second wildcard Grand Prix of 2017, who managed to stun on lookers when he qualified his KTM RC250 GP in fifth place.

Former Red Bull Rookies champion from two years ago Bo Bendsneyder couldn't quite find a good lap and finished just 1.4 seconds off pole in twentieth position, three ahead of his team mate Niccolo Antonelli .

Bendsneyder: "The day didn't go too well, and our grid position is not very good either, but I think tomorrow we can do a good job. Qualifying is based on getting a good lap and unfortunately today we couldn't do that. We have a good feeling with the bike and I'm very happy with my pace, which is similar to the best lap I've ever done in qualifying, and that's a good thing. I can't wait to race tomorrow; it will be tough, because we'll start from far back, but I know it is possible to gain places. It will be important to make a good start and then fight our utmost, as I want to get a good result."

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

Kazuki Masaki won an incredible penultimate Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race to claim the 2017 Cup. The 17-year-old Japanese flashed across the line on his KTM RC250 RB one hundredth of a second ahead fellow Ai Ogura with Aleix Viu third and Can Öncü fifth. That finished the Cup challenge for Viu and Öncü. Any one of six including Deniz Öncü and Filip Salac could have won on the final of 15 laps. It was Viu who led down the back straight but Masaki timed his run perfectly.

“I hung back a little because I knew I had the slipstream and didn’t want to catch him too early in the back straight,” explained Masaki. “I got it just right and went into the last corner first. I went for the lead and tried to pull away but Viu came past again. So then I had to change my plan and catch the slipstream on the straight. It was a very tough race, I pushed from the first few laps but it became a big group and I just tried to stay near the front and then pushed again at the end. I really wanted to win the Cup today and not have to fight for it tomorrow, I’m very happy of course, very happy.”

Races: September 24, 2017 – Moto3 11:00 | Moto2 12:20 CET | MotoGP 14:00 | 15:30 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

Results Qualifying MotoGP MotorLand Aragon 2017

1. Maverick Vinales (ESP), Yamaha, 1:47.635 min

2. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP), Ducati, +0.100 sec

3. Valentino Rossi (ITA), Yamaha, +0.180

4. Cal Crutchlow (GBR), Honda, +0.195

5. Marc Marcquez (ESP), Honda, +0.328


12. Mika Kallio (FIN), +0.836

14. Pol Espargaro (ESP), KTM, +0.752 (Q1)

23. Bradley Smith (GBR), KTM, +1.943

Results Qualifying Moto2 MotorLand Aragon 2017

1. Miguel Oliveira (POR), KTM, 1:53.736 min

2. Mattia Pasini (ITA), Kalex, +0.021 sec

3. Alex Marquez (ESP), Kalex, +0.071

4. Franco Morbidelli (ITA), Kalex, +0.105

5. Simone Corsi (ITA), Speed Up, +0.140


20. Brad Binder (RSA), KTM, +1.134

Results Qualifying Moto3 MotorLand Aragon 2017

1. Jorge Martin (ESP), Honda, 1:58.067 min

2. Enea Bastianini (ITA), Honda, +0.358 sec

3. Aron Canet (ESP), Honda, +0.449

4. Nicolo Bulega (ITA), KTM, +0.526

5. Dennis Foggia (ITA), KTM, +0.701


8. Philipp Oettl (GER), KTM, +0.894

10. Marcos Ramirez (ESP), KTM, +0.918

20. Bo Bendsneyder (NED), KTM, +1.438

23. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA), KTM, +1.630

Results Race Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup MotorLand Aragon 2017

All riders on KTM RC250 RB bikes

1. Kazuki Masaki (JAP), 30:51.679 min (15 laps)

2. Ai Ogura (JAP), +0.010

3. Alex Viu (ESP), +0.159

4. Dan Öncü (TUR), +0.197

5. Can Öncü (TUR), +0.693

Standings Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2017 after 12 of 13 races

1. Masaki, 194 points (2017 Champion)

2. C. Öncü, 165

3. Viu (ESP), 158

4. D. Öncü, 125

5. Ogura, 124