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LORENZO SEALS FIRST POLE SINCE 2016

Jorge Lorenzo continued his recent upturn in form by taking pole position at the Catalan Grand Prix, where Marc Marquez joins him on the front row.

Lorenzo celebrated a belated first MotoGP win with Ducati in Italy last time out by finalising a switch to join Marquez at Repsol Honda next season.

But the 31-year-old, who is expected to be a serious challenger to Marquez's throne in 2019, is already showing his talent in this campaign, securing pole in Barcelona despite a less than smooth operation.

Lorenzo was visibly furious as he entered the pit at one stage, later suggesting there had been an issue with his front tyre.

A time of one minute 38.680 second was still enough to qualify fastest and take a first pole since 2016, but Marquez's second-place start is perhaps more impressive after he was forced to come through a difficult first qualifying session.

The reigning champion crashed in the final practice session and endured a couple of further wobbles, meaning he missed out on an automatic Q2 place for the first time since 2015.

Marquez came through with a time of 1:39.217 and then pushed Lorenzo all the way, pipping title rival Andrea Dovizioso to second place.

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati) 1:38.680
2. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 1:38.746
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1:38.923
4. Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) 1:39.145
5. Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar) 1:39.148
6. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac) 1:39.178
7. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) 1:39.266
8. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) 1:39.331
9. Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia) 1:39.504
10. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) 1:39.556
11. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) 1:39.695
12. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) 1:39.888

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