Márquez claims Valencia pole, Dovizioso P9
11 November 2017 – Marc Márquez claimed pole position, his eighth of the year, for the title-deciding MotoGP race at Valencia, despite crashing during his second Q2 run.
Márquez went quickest early on before storming to a 1:29.897 on his second lap at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, which remained unbeaten across the remainder of the 15-minute session.
Márquez tried to beat his own benchmark on his second run but crashed through Turn 4, though walked away uninjured, having restrained himself against kicking his stricken bike in the gravel trap.
Title rival Andrea Dovizioso, who must win Sunday's race to stand a chance of taking the title, was only ninth fastest, meaning he will round out the third row of the grid.
Tech 3's Johann Zarco emerged as Márquez's primary opponent as he finished 0.349s behind the Repsol Honda rider, while Andrea Iannone delivered on his FP1 pace to claim third.
Jorge Lorenzo was initially Márquez's closest challenger but crashed heavily on the entry to Turn 14; he returned to action on his spare bike but was unable to improve.
Dani Pedrosa took fifth on the other Repsol Honda machine, in front of Ducati tester Michele Pirro and Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi.
Aleix Espargaró clocked the eighth-best time for Aprilia before he suffered an off at the final corner, bringing his session to an early end.
Suzuki's Álex Rins finished just 0.011s down on Dovizioso as he rounded out the top 10, with KTM's Pol Espargaró, who must start from the pits due to exceeding his engine allocation, in 11th spot.
Marc VDS' Jack Miller finished at the foot of the times in Q2, having been another to crash out in the session.
Maverick Viñales' dismal weekend continued as his poor practice pace meant he was forced into Q1.
Viñales was unable to match the laps recorded by the Espargaró brothers and did not qualify for Q2, leaving him in 13th place on the grid, and he punched his bike in frustration after completing his lap.
Marc VDS' Tito Rabat was a fine 14th though crashed at Turn 4, while Danilo Petrucci finished 15th for Pramac.
LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow held one of the two progression spots after the first laps but crashed through Turn 10 while trying to improve and was shuffled down to 16th position.
KTM duo Bradley Smith and (tester) Mika Kallio took 17th and 19th respectively, sandwiching Aspar's Karel Abraham, with Héctor Barberá (Avintia) and Álvaro Bautista (Aspar) next up.
Scott Redding was 22nd for Pramac, in front of Loris Baz (Avintia) and Sam Lowes (Aprilia), the latter crashing during the closing stages.
Tech 3 replacement rider Michael van der Mark qualified at the rear of the 25-bike grid.
Sunday's 30-lap Valencian Grand Prix will begin at 14:00 local time