Reigning World Champion Marc Marquez is looking for his eleventh straight win after taking pole position at the Czech Republic MotoGP ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone.
Marc Marquez: “I’m happy about 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 (Ducati Team) matched his Indy qualifying performance in second, with his compatriot and colleague on Ducati machinery Iannone (Pramac Racing) qualifying third – for his second front row start of 2014.
Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) produced a good Q2 performance to qualify fourth. The Englishman is joined on row two by the experienced Spanish pair of Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP).
Dani Pedrosa: “Today was positive as it didn’t rain and we were able to try out tyres in the dry. We are pretty clear now about which direction we will go for the race. It was a pity that we couldn’t get a spot on the front row in qualifying, but it was difficult because the times were extremely close. I hope I can make a good start tomorrow and have a good race.”
Jorge Lorenzo: “The lap times are not bad. I had some pretty fast laps even on used tyres. Some days if you can’t go a little bit faster it makes a big difference. It could have been worse, because also the riders in seventh, eight and ninth place are very close to my lap times. When we put a soft tyre on the front it gave me much more confidence. Unfortunately it won’t be possible to use this tyre for tomorrow’s race, so we have to work on the bike to give me more confidence with the harder front tyre.
“I swopped bikes during the qualifying session because we put a special brake on the number one bike and the braking was good, but we lost a lot of time with speed and acceleration, especially on the last corner. We concentrated on the normal bike with our last try and it was better.”
A high speed crash in FP4 for Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) meant he went into Q2 with a dressing on the little finger of his left hand. The Italian will head up row three for his 245th premier class race.
Valentino Rossi: “I was pushing a lot and my pace was fast but unfortunately when entering turn eleven I was a little bit too wide. I was braking hard, trying to enter the corner anyway but I lost the front and damaged my little finger. It’s very important for tomorrow that there is no fracture. It seems like there won’t be any problem. My finger is not broken; it’s just a little bit damaged. I think and hope that it won’t give me problems during the race. Using the soft front tyre for tomorrow is not an option for me. I think using the hard tyre on the front is better.”
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing) made it through from Q1 to qualify eighth and 12th respectively. Behind Bradl, Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) completes the third row.
Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) leads row four, with Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) and Hernandez set to line up behind him.
MotoGP Qualifying Results
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 55.585s 308km/h (Top Speed)
2. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 1m 55.714s +0.129s 308km/h
3. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 1m 55.726s +0.141s 310km/h
4. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 55.730s +0.145s 307km/h
5. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 55.812s +0.227s 310km/h
6. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 55.815s +0.230s 308km/h
7. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 55.821s +0.236s 307km/h
8. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 1m 55.871s +0.286s 311km/h
9. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 1m 55.899s +0.314s 307km/h
10. Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 56.090s +0.505s 299km/h
11. Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 1m 56.129s +0.544s 308km/h
12. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 1m 56.622s +1.037s 304km/h
13. Michele Pirro ITA Ducati Test Rider (Desmosedici) 1m 57.093s
14. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 1m 57.428s
15. Scott Redding GBR Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R)* 1m 57.557s
16. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 1m 57.984s
17. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 1m 58.100s
18. Leon Camier GBR Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 1m 58.635s
19. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing Project (ART) 1m 58.863s
20. Alex De Angelis RSM NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 58.948s
21. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Avintia) 1m 58.968s
22. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 1m 58.968s
23. Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART)* 1m 59.581s
24. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Avintia)* No Time
Moto3 – Miller to start from second row
Championship leader Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) will line up on row two for what promises to be another exciting Moto3 race.
Pole was taken by Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), with Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team) and Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) also securing front row slots.
Marquez crashed mid-session after running onto the gravel to avoid traffic as light rain started to fall, but despite a heavy tumble he was able to return for the rest of the session and take pole. The rain was intermittent and fell only at specific points on the track making it a tricky session for the riders to judge.
Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) will line up on row two.
The session was red flagged after Philipp Oettl (Interwetten Paddock Moto3) crashed with just under ten minutes remaining. The rider was not injured but his bike was damaged and there was a delay whilst an air fence was repaired.
Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) was on provisional pole – at the 133rd Grand Prix of his long career – but ultimately he would qualify seventh. Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) and Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3) qualified eighth and ninth respectively despite a late QP crash for Vazquez and a Friday spill for Bastianini which left him riding with a broken heel on Saturday.
Vazquez went down right at the end of the session, unable to continue as he fell heavily at turn 6. The Spanish rider who won at Indy was helped away by safety officials.
Italian, Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) completed the top ten.
Moto3 Qualifying Results
1. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 2m 7.691s
2. Isaac Viñales SPA Calvo Team (KTM) 2m 7.914s
3. Niccolò Antonelli ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 2m 8.006s
4. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 2m 8.051s
5. Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 2m 8.095s
6. Jack Miller AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 2m 8.122s
7. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 2m 8.210s
8. Efren Vazquez SPA SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 2m 8.337s
9. Enea Bastianini ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 2m 8.396s
10. Romano Fenati ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 2m 8.461s
11. John McPhee GBR SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 2m 8.542s
12. Danny Kent GBR Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 2m 8.560s
13. Jakub Kornfeil CZE Calvo Team (KTM) 2m 8.649s
14. Brad Binder RSA Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 2m 8.714s
15. Alessandro Tonucci ITA CIP (Mahindra) 2m 8.771s
16. Niklas Ajo FIN Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 2m 8.791s
17. Karel Hanika CZE Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 2m 8.861s
18. Juanfran Guevara SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 2m 8.925s
19. Jorge Navarro SPA Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex-KTM) 2m 9.004s
20. Francesco Bagnaia ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 2m 9.127s
21. Eric Granado BRA Calvo Team (KTM) 2m 9.306s
22. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL Ongetta-AirAsia (Honda) 2m 9.435s
23. Andrea Locatelli ITA San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 2m 9.457s
24. Hafiq Azmi MAL SIC-AJO (KTM) 2m 9.493s
25. Scott Deroue NED RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 2m 9.498s
26. Matteo Ferrari ITA San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 2m 9.681s
27. Gabriel Rodrigo ARG RBA Racing Team (KTM) 2m 9.773s
28. Luca Grünwald GER Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 2m 9.776s
29. Jules Danilo FRA Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 2m 9.780s
30. Bryan Schouten NED CIP (Mahindra) 2m 9.953s
31. Arthur Sissis AUS Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 2m 10.063s
32. Philipp Oettl GER Interwetten Paddock Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 2m 10.436s
33. Ana Carrasco SPA RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 2m 11.946s
34. Gabriel Ramos VEN Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 2m 12.814s