BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo chalked up another first with Ducati after beating compatriot and future Honda team mate Marc Marquez to pole position on Saturday at their home Grand Prix of Catalunya.
Lorenzo, a triple world champion in the top category, is moving to the works Honda team next season after a difficult time with the Italian marque.
The Mallorcan is coming good now, though, with his first victory for Ducati at this month’s Italian Grand Prix and Barcelona presenting him with a first pole since he was at Yamaha in 2016.
Lorenzo’s fastest lap of one minute 38.680 seconds around a sunny Circuit de Catalunya was 0.066 quicker than four times MotoGP champion Marquez’s best.
Marquez had crashed in third practice and had to make only his second appearance in the first qualifying session that decides the lower grid positions before reaching the final shootout.
Lorenzo’s Italian team mate Andrea Dovizioso completed the front row, his first top three position in qualifying this season.
Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales made it three Spaniards in the top four on the grid with Italians Andrea Iannone (Suzuki), Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati), and Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.
Marquez leads Rossi by 23 points after six races.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris