Marquez snatches pole in Argentina
Marc Marquez snatched pole in Argentina by a comfortable seventh-tenths from the sensational Karel Abraham, who clinched his best-ever premier class qualifying position in difficult conditions. On a wet and drying track, Repsol Honda rider Marquez lapped in 1m 47.512s to take the stop spot at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit from Czech rider Abraham on the Aspar Ducati GP15, who narrowly edged Cal Crutchlow for second place.
British rider Crutchlow was only 0.003s behind Abraham as he rounds out the front row on the LCR Honda. Row two will be headed up by Italy's Danilo Petrucci on the Octo Pramac Ducati, who was 1.3 seconds off the pace off Marquez, while Dani Pedrosa slots into fifth place. Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa joined Valentino Rossi in Q1 and finished fastest on the RCV with a flying late lap to top the session, securing his place along with The Doctor in Q2.
Championship leader Maverick Vinales was sixth fastest on the Movistar Yamaha, bringing an end to his run of time-sheet topping performances during the winter tests and the opening round of the series in Qatar. Vinales' best lap in 1m 49.218s was 1.7s slower than Marquez as the Spaniard narrowly held off team-mate Rossi, who starts from row three in seventh place. The 38-year-old is joined by Gresini Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro and Loris Baz on the Avintia Ducati, who had held a provisional front row place earlier in Q2 when conditions were much wetter.
Alvaro Bautista completed the top ten on the Aspar Ducati GP16 to lead row four, with Jonas Folger the top rookie on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 in 11th and Andrea Iannone 12th on the Ecstar Suzuki. Jorge Lorenzo struggled on the factory Ducati as he finished 16th fastest behind Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Ducati). Lorenzo's team-mate, Andrea Dovizioso, has work to do from 13th on the GP17, while rookie Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was 14th quickest on the satellite M1.