ROSSI DIDN'T MAKE CUT: Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, during third free practice for the 2015 Spanish MotoGP - but on Saturday he didn't make it close to pole for Sunday's race. Image: AP / Manu Fernandez
BARCELONA, Spain - Aleix Espargaro broke the Catalunya lap record to take pole position for the 2015 Catalunya Motorcycle GP.
Team mate Maverick Vinales was close behind him on Saturday in a surprise Suzuki 1-2 at the front of the MotoGP grid.
A blistering time of 1min40.546 gave Spaniard Espargaro his second pole in MotoGP and Suzuki's first since 2007.
‘PRESENT FOR TEAM’
His compatriot Vinales was 0.083sec behind and Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, winner of the previous three races, was third.
Espargaro, 11th in the 2015 MotoGP championship, said afterwards: "With the first tyre I pushed - but not to the limit. On the second I nearly crashed at the last corner, I was pushing so hard.
“This is a present for Suzuki – the team has worked so hard for this. I hope that on Sunday I can be on the podium.”
Current champion Marc Marquez, who has struggled with his Honda so far in 2015, was down in fourth and Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, leading the standings with 118 points from six races, continued his poor qualifying form and was seventh.
2015 Catalunya MotoGP qualifying
1 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Suzuki 1min40.546
2 Maverick Vinales (Spain) Suzuki 1min40.629
3 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 1min40.646
4 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda 1min40.754
5 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati 1min40.907
6 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 1min40.928
7 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 1min41.058
8 Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha 1min41.068
9 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Honda 1min41.195
10 Yonny Hernandez (Colombia) Ducati 1min41.333
1 Johann Zarco (France) Kalex 1min45.895
2 Jonas Folger (Germany) Kalex 1min46.060
3 Tito Rabat (Spain) Kalex 1min46.123
4 Dominique Aegerter (Switzerland) Kalex 1min46.191
5 Sam Lowes (Britain) Speed up 1min46.333
6 Luis Salom (Spain) Kalex 1min46.478
7 Alex Rins (Spain) Kalex 1min46.490
8 Simone Corsi (Italy) Kalex 1min46.526
9 Sandro Cortese (Germany) Kalex 1min46.537
10 Thomas Luethi (Switzerland) Kalex 1min46.591
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 MotoGP season – fresh reports every week.