Reigning MotoGP champion seals ninth pole of the year ahead of Dovizioso and Iannone
Marc Marquez took his ninth pole position of the year at the Automotodrom Brno during today’s qualifying practice ahead of the Grand Prix České Republiky with the Repsol Honda rider making the most of the perfect conditions to take pole ahead of Ducati Racing’s Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone on the satellite Pramac Racing Ducati.
Marquez eventually set a best time of 1m 55.585s with Dovizioso continuing to make the most of an improving Ducati GP14 with the Italian rider setting a best time of 1m 55.714s ahead of countryman Iannone who also looked strong on the Pramac Ducati and he had the benefit of lapping on the rear wheel of Marquez to set a personal best lap time of’ 1m 55.726s.
I'm expecting a tough battle from start to finish for the win.
Fourth fastest and the best of the Yamaha riders today was Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith with the British rider’s best lap of 1m 55.730s enough to head up the second row ahead of Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa (1m 55.812s) and fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo on the Movistar Yamaha machine (1m 55.815s).
Valentino Rossi had a nasty low-side crash earlier on today and damaged his ßsmall finger on his left hand but was still able to qualify in 7th despite his injury with Stefan Bradl setting the 8th fastest lap of 1m 55.871s for the LCR Honda team while starting from 9th will be Pol Espargaro on the second of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machines.
The last place in the top ten went to NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro who did enough with his 1m 56.090s lap time ahead of Cal Crutchlow on the second Ducati Team machine with a best time of 1m 56.129s and in 12 and final place in Q2 was Yonny Hernandez (Energy TI Pramac Racing) who continues his strong vein of form he is currently enjoying.
The last place in the top ten went to NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro who did enough with his 1m 56.090s lap time ahead of Cal Crutchlow on the second Ducati Team machine with a best time of 1m 56.129s and in 12th and final place in Q2 was Yonny Hernandez (Energy TI Pramac Racing) who continues his strong vein of form he is currently enjoying.
Despite his pace and pole position, Marquez is still expecting a fight for the victory in tomorrow’s race saying, “I'm happy about the pole position today. I had Iannone behind me so the only solution was to push, because I had to set a hot lap. As for tomorrow's race, we have pole but the toughest rivals will start from the second row, especially Dani. We will see what condition Valentino is in and hopefully he can ride well, because he has also been strong this weekend and I hope Jorge can be in the fight too. I'm expecting a tough battle from start to finish for the win”
Dovizioso was happy with his performance and speaking afterwards he said, “Yes, I am really happy. Here my feeling was better in Indy. I made a good lap time, I was really strong and my lap time was not from riding behind Marquez. For the race it will be interesting, we have been very strong all weekend here.
Iannone was thrilled with his front row start and delighted to see two Ducati machines on the front row. He said, “Marc helped me a little for this lap. I will have to buy him dinner! But I am happy and I pushed very hard, to do my best in this session. Yesterday was tough for me, but today is better. Thank you to Ducati. I think two Ducatis with two Italians on the front row is very good for Italy. It’s incredible. It is very important for me to challenge and fight with Dovizioso tomorrow as I want to improve my pace and race craft.”