Marquez grabs debut pole in devastating fashion in Austin

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Spaniard continues to assert dominance at Circuit of the Americas

Marc Marquez claimed his first ever pole position in the MotoGP class in today’s qualifying session ahead of the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas where the Repsol Honda rider topped the timesheets ahead of his teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo. The new qualifying format once again prove to be thoroughly entertaining with the top 12 riders from all three free practice sessions battling for the top grid slot.

We are happy of course, because we took our first pole position which is important and always exciting!

Marc Marquez

Marquez was unstoppable in his quest for his maiden MotoGP pole and despite a fall in the third of the free practice sessions at the Circuit of the Americas circuit in Austin, Texas, the Spanish rookie set a best time of 2m 3.021s that proved to be too fast for Pedrosa who settled for a second place start on a best lap time of 2m 3.275s while Lorenzo battled through to secure the final place on the front row with a best time of 2m 4.100s.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow starts from 4th tomorrow setting a best time of 2m 4.267s with Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) in 5th place with a best lap of 2m 4.445s that was better than that of Ducati Racing’s Andrea Dovizioso starting from 6th place with a 2m 4.873s lap. Alvaro Bautista starts from 7th for the Go&Fun Honda Gresini team on a best time of 2m 4.942s while Valentino Rossi had a horrible final qualifying session ending up with the 8th best time of 2m 5.380s while CRT rider Aleix Espargaro grabbed 9th place with a 2m 5.389s for the Power Electronics Aspar team and rounding out the top ten is Ducati Team rider Nicky Hayden (2m 5.568s).

Bradley Smith ended his second ever MotoGP qualifying session in 11th place for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team on a best lap of 2m 6.740s while Ben Spies was the last of the Q3 qualifiers for the Ignite Pramac Racing team with a best lap of 2m 7.044s with his teammate Andrea Iannone (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing) starting alongside in 13th with a best time of 2m 6.872s. Randy De Puniet starts from 14th place for the Power Electronics Aspar team with a best time of 2m 7.129s while Hector Barbera starts behind in 15th for the Avintia Blusens team (2m 7.717s).

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Yonny Hernandez heads row six on the Paul Bird Motorsport team (2m 7.738s) ahead of his teammate Michael Laverty who set a best time of 2m 8.259s. NGM Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards starts from 18th (2m 8.475s) while his teammate Claudio Corti starts alongside with a best lap of 2m 8.792s. Danilo Petrucci starts from 20th place for the Came IodaRacing team with a best lap time of 2m 8.825s. Hiroshi Aoyama starts from 21st for the Avintia Blusens team (2m 9.062s) with Bryan Staring in 22nd for the Go&Fun Honda Gresini with a best lap of 2m 10.098s while Lukas Pesek finished today in 23rd place for the Came IodaRacing team 2m 10.507s ahead of wildcard rider Blake Young (Attack Performance Racing) setting a best lap of 2m 10.606s and Karel Abraham in 25th for the Cardion AB Motoracing team (2m 23.317s).

Marquez was thrilled to secure his first MotoGP pole position and said, “We are happy of course, because we took our first pole position which is important and always exciting! We knew beforehand that we could fight for pole, but you never know what will happen in the session. Both Dani and Jorge are fast over a single lap, and we managed to overcome them. The important stuff starts tomorrow, because we have a long, physical race with many of changes of direction to deal with. We need to be ready, because tomorrow is what really counts and I will do the best that I can!”

Pedrosa was content with second place and is focused on the task at hand in tomorrow’s race. He said, “The session was a little tense, as in fifteen minutes you only have time for four good laps. Fortunately we didn't have any problems with traffic this time, and I was able to focus and put in a strong lap - faster than all but one in the end! It was a good session, and we took second on the grid which is positive, because Marc put in a fast lap and is close by. We need to try to increase the rear grip for tomorrow and work towards having a strong race.”

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Lorenzo is hopeful for a good race tomorrow but admitted getting close to the factory Hondas will be an uphill challenge saying, “What happened in qualifying is more or less what happened in all the sessions: our rivals are much more fast than us in pace and on a fast lap. Our best position we could do today was third. Tomorrow in the race anything could happen. If something strange happens we can fight for the win but in normal conditions third is a really good position for tomorrow. We hope that the race is going to be better than qualifying and we can be closer to Marc and Dani.”

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Qualifying report
Tags austin, featured, hatch, honda, lorenzo, marquez, pedrosa, repsol, yamaha