Jerez has always favored the Yamahas, yet there are three Hondas monopolizing the front row. Ducatis have always had a tough time at Jerez but Jorge Lorenzo is the quickest Ducati. The KTMs have been miles off the pace, now a new engine has put both within a second of pole.
This has been another of those days in this most topsy turvey of seasons. Just when you thought you’d see a pattern and understand what was happening, the world turns upside down. Dani Pedrosa has looked effortlessly fast all weekend and is on pole for the first time since that race in Sepang in 2015. You know the one, but have probably forgotten that Dani won by a distance.
Marc Marquez tried all the tricks in the book to nick pole off him waiting for Dani to come out for the final run in Q2 and latching on to him. Marc tried, how he tried. In the fast right that leads to the final hairpin Marc had the rear tyre skipping over the kerbing while he was at full lean and full throttle. The laws of physics clearly state that the Honda should have been launched into orbit and we could all have picked up a tiny piece of it as a souvenir. Marc failed to take pole by half-a-tenth.
Dani remarked laconically that his team mate hadn’t been a lot of help. Marc said, without any humour in his voice, that he’d learnt a few things.
Tomorrow’s big variable is the weather. It’s going to be very hot which may force a good few riders on to the hard tyre, which has very consistent behaviour but is slow. Will Dani go for the medium and try ago pull out a big lead? Will Marc, who always favours a hard tyre, as does the Honda, hunt him down? Can Valentino Rossi magic another rostrum from an unpromising weekend? Will Jorge Lorenzo’s race pace be as impressive as his Free Practice times? Will anyone in a red shirt mention the name Dovizioso (he’s w—-a—y back)? Will Pol Espargaro explode with delight at the improvement in his KTM?
All these questions and more will be answered in this episode of MotoGP, filmed in front of a massive live audience who only paid 39 Euros each for a weekend ticket.