MotoGP Argentina Qualifying: Jack Miller clinched first pole position of his career
Non-factory Moto GP rider Jack Miller surprised the world by clinching the first pole position of his career in the Grand Prix of Argentina on Saturday, outdoing the factory riders in difficult wet qualifying conditions.
Behind Jack Miller, Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Tech 3 Yamaha's Johann Zarco finished at 2nd and 3rd positions respectively, completing the front grid of the race.
Rain was expected to fall in fits and start last morning, but it came in the last practice session, just before the start of two rounds of qualifying sessions. It prompted all riders to switch to wet tyres and wet condition setup before the start of Q1. After the 15 minutes of Q1, a dry line had started to appear on the track but the riders decided to keep the wet setup while going into Q2, with the exception of Jack Miller, Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow.
After a few laps the circuit, riders including Factory Honda's ace rider and reigning champion Marc Marquez, headed for a tire change, but Ducati Pramac rider Jack Miller decided to throw caution to the wind and pushed harder with slicks and lapped the 2.9 mile circuit in 1:47.153 seconds.
Dani Pedrosa tried to push Miller from the pole position but fell short of few seconds, only succeeding to secure second position with 1:47.300 seconds. Another independent rider and last race's pole position holder, Yamaha Tech-3 rider Johann Zarco impressed again, claiming thirrd spot on the grid with 1:47.350 seconds.
Other riders in Qualifying
Tito Rabat will start from his best qualifying position in MotoGP today, from fourth position on the grid, with Suzuki's Alex Rins alongside him on fifth spot.
Speaking of the underperforming factory teams, Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda could only manage sixth spot. The previous race winner and Factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso will start from eight, whereas his teammate and two-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo could do no better than 14th spot on the grid.
The Factory Yamaha riders haven't been successful either. Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales couldn't adapt to the changing conditions on the track and will now start the race from 11th and 9th spot respectively.
LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow will start from 10th on the grid whereas Aprilla's Alexis Espargaro and Suzuki's Andrea Iannone will start from 7th and 12th on the grid respectively.
The lackluster performances of Factory bikes and valiant display by independent team riders in qualifying has made for a very interesting race in Argentina.
It can be a good oppurtunity for top contenders of the title like Marc Marquez, Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi to establish a healthy lead over its counterparts. Andrea Dovizioso will try to dominate once again and try to keep Marquez at bay.
He may not have qualified for a good position but nine-time world champion, Valentino Rossi, still has it in him to shock the world on raceday.
Other factory riders like Dani Pedrosa, Maverick Vinales and Jorge Lorenzo will try to better their points tally as well as look to strengthen the overall team standings in the list.
The last race in Qatar witnessed a final lap thrilling finish and the same can be expected here.