Marquez flies to pole for MotoGP decider

Marquez flies to pole for MotoGP decider


Marquez flies to pole for MotoGP decider


Marc Marquez smashed his own circuit record as he blitzed qualifying for the MotoGP title decider at Valencia.

Having topped each of the four practice sessions, Marquez’s dominant form continued as he delivered a crushing 1m30.237s to better the record he had only set in Saturday morning’s third practice by more than half a second.

Honda’s championship leader will line up with title rival Jorge Lorenzo alongside him, having knocked the Yamaha rider off top spot with just two minutes remaining.

Lorenzo was the first rider to set a time in the session, and his 1m30.645s effort straight out of the box remained the benchmark until Marquez’s late flier. The reigning champion managed to improve after a change of bikes due to engine worries, but found less than a tenth and only just shaded Marquez’s Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa to second.

Pedrosa ended the session a comfortable third, but only after the second factory Yamaha of Valentino Rossi and Tech 3’s Bradley Smith had enjoyed brief spells in provisional front row positions. They slipped to fourth and sixth, respectively, split by Smith’s satellite Yamaha teammate Cal Crutchlow in fifth.

Alvaro Bautista, who had a minor crash, and Stefan Bradl beat the works Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden into ninth and 10th. The latter is contesting his final grand prix for the Italian squad after five years.

Andrea Iannone and shock CRT pacesetter Danilo Petrucci were the two to progress from an incredibly close first qualifying segment, propping up the Q2 time sheets in 11th and 12th.

Hector Barbera and confirmed-for-2014 Forward Racing rider Aleix Espargaro missed out on making it to Q2 by less than one-tenth of a second.

Pos  Rider             Team/Bike             Time       Gap 1.  Marc Marquez      Honda                 1m30.237s 2.  Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha                1m30.577s  +0.340s 3.  Dani Pedrosa      Honda                 1m30.663s  +0.426s 4.  Valentino Rossi   Yamaha                1m30.920s  +0.683s 5.  Cal Crutchlow     Tech 3 Yamaha         1m31.113s  +0.876s 6.  Bradley Smith     Tech 3 Yamaha         1m31.201s  +0.964s 7.  Alvaro Bautista   Gresini Honda         1m31.594s  +1.357s 8.  Stefan Bradl      LCR Honda             1m31.638s  +1.401s 9.  Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati                1m31.718s  +1.481s10.  Nicky Hayden      Ducati                1m31.870s  +1.633s11.  Andrea Iannone    Pramac Ducati         1m31.963s  +1.726s12.  Danilo Petrucci   Ioda-Suter-BMW        1m33.116s  +2.879s13.  Hector Barbera    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  1m32.773s  +2.536s14.  Aleix Espargaro   Aspar Aprilia         1m32.807s  +2.570s15.  Claudio Corti     Forward FTR-Kawasaki  1m32.961s  +2.724s16.  Yonny Hernandez   Pramac Ducati         1m32.966s  +2.729s17.  Michele Pirro     Ducati                1m32.966s  +2.729s18.  Colin Edwards     Forward FTR-Kawasaki  1m33.203s  +2.966s19.  Hiroshi Aoyama    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  1m33.328s  +3.091s20.  Randy de Puniet   Aspar Aprilia         1m33.869s  +3.632s21.  Michael Laverty   PBM Aprilia           1m34.018s  +3.781s22.  Luca Scassa       Cardion Aprilia       1m34.113s  +3.876s23.  Bryan Staring     Gresini FTR-Honda     1m34.805s  +4.568s24.  Damian Cudlin     PBM-Aprilia           1m34.903s  +4.666s25.  Lukas Pesek       Ioda-Suter-BMW        1m34.993s  +4.756s26.  Martin Bauer      Remus Suter-BMW       1m35.277s  +5.040s