The Motorland Aragón circuit has only known one pole sitter in the MotoGP class since 2013 and once again it was Marc Márquez who took the honour in 2016. Márquez clocked a time of 1’47.117 to keep Maverick Viñales at bay by six tenths of a second, with an all-Spanish front row completed by Jorge Lorenzo in third place. Dani Pedrosa, the fastest man on track on Friday, will start from seventh after a crash on his final attempt at a qualifying lap, which was otherwise on course for a front row start. Valentino Rossi launches his latest attempt to close the gap on series leader Marc Márquez from the second row in sixth place.
Pull&Bear Aspar riders Yonny Hernández and Eugene Laverty both narrowly missed out on an appearance in Q2 after showing good pace in free practice and then both featuring in the decisive top two positions during the early stages of Q1. However, they were outdone by four tenths of a second, with Hernández the highest qualifier of the two in fifteenth place. The Colombian is targeting points in tomorrow’s race and a potential top ten finish, which is also the objective for his team-mate Eugene Laverty. The Irishman crashed shortly before the end of FP4, an unfortunate setback just before starting Q1. Laverty is sure that the tight lap times today will be reflected in an interesting race tomorrow.
16th Eugene Laverty 1.49.052: “The crash in FP4, I made a mistake just pushing a little too hard. Our rhythm was really good at that point, I was in eleventh position and that’s always a good indication for the race pace. Qualifying was very close, we were not so far from making it through to Q2, I just didn’t make a fantastic lap but the times are very close so it should make for an interesting race tomorrow. Even the front guys, the lap times are not so far away from us so I think it could be much closer tomorrow than it has been for the last few races.”
15th Yonny Hernández 1.48.954: “This time we were very close to making it through to Q2, but in the end it wasn’t to be. We gave our best to get one of those positions and it was nice to be in the fight. I think we made a mistake with the front tyre choice because I was losing the front in a few places. I think we could have improved more on the other tyre but at least we now have some good data for the race. My pace is good enough to be fighting for a top ten finish and to pick up some more points.”