Last year’s race winner and pole setter, Marc Marquez, continued his domination of the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas on Saturday, claiming his second pole position at the track. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Stefan Bradl joins him on the front row.
After topping every practice session Marquez sealed pole position with a 2’02.773, breaking his own record from last year. This is the young Spaniard’s 11th MotoGP pole position in just his 20th race.
Marc Marquez: “I’m very happy with how the weekend is going and with the qualifying session – especially taking pole position. I have a good feeling with the bike and have been setting a good pace ahead of tomorrow’s race. We will try to get a good start and I’m sure we’ll be fighting with Dani, as he is our strongest rival. I think that the beginning of the race will be the most important part, because with this heat the tyres suffer a lot. I will try to remain focused and have a good race!”
Dani Pedrosa: “We improved the bike a lot today and I was able to ride much better than yesterday. I managed to come very close in qualifying and hope to take advantage of all my chances to win tomorrow’s race. Last year we came second so I will look to take one step further tomorrow!”
Bradl was 0.423s behind pole setter Marquez with a 2’03.196 and this is the former Moto2 World Champion’s first front row start since his Laguna Seca pole last year.
Stefan Bradl: “We did a good job today, we can be very happy with the front row. It’s quite tight together between all of us and there’s a chance of rain tomorrow so the race is a bit of an unknown.”
It will be an all-Yamaha second row for Sunday’s race, with Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) placing his ‘Open’ Yamaha fourth, 0.467s off pole. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pair Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were fifth and sixth, Lorenzo registering a time just 0.003s off Espargaro’s, with Rossi 0.001s behind his teammate.
Jorge Lorenzo: “The progression from the first practice on Friday is very big, we were two seconds behind and now half a second. Anyway, as I thought it’s going to be a hard race tomorrow. Our goal is to fight for fourth or third position, I think it would be a good result because here our competitors are really strong so we need to make the best result we can, to finish on the podium would be a good thing.”
Valentino Rossi: “I am happy about today’s qualifying, especially because from this morning to the afternoon session we were able to improve the bike and in qualifying I was pretty fast. Following the last free practice we also made another step ahead and I enjoyed the qualifying session; I went well. My pace is good, although we still have to work and cut some little tenth but I think tomorrow might be a good day for us.”
Heading the third row is Ducati’s Cal Crutchlow (+1.007s), in front of compatriot Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Italian Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing). Smith and Iannone were both also just over a second behind Marquez.
On row four, meanwhile are Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Alvaro Baustista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini).
The fastest ‘Open’ Honda rider Scott Redding will start just behind his GO&FUN Honda Gresini teammate Bautista at the head of row five, having missed Q2 by just 0.074s.
Qualifying results – Q2:
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 2m 2.773s 332km/h (Top Speed)
2. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 2m 3.062s +0.289s 336km/h
3. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 2m 3.196s +0.423s 337km/h
4. Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 2m 3.240s +0.467s 326km/h
5. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 2m 3.243s +0.470s 332km/h
6. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 2m 3.244s +0.471s 332km/h
7. Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 3.780s +1.007s 331km/h
8. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 3.800s +1.027s 330km/h
9. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 3.842s +1.069s 336km/h
10. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 3.846s +1.073s 333km/h
11. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 2m 3.913s +1.140s 334km/h
12. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 3.923s +1.150s 336km/h
13. Scott Redding GBR Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R)* 2m 4.617s 317km/h
14. Nicky Hayden USA Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 5.062s 315km/h
15. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 5.677s 326km/h
16. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 5.788s 323km/h
17. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 2m 6.239s 317km/h
18. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Avintia) 2m 6.270s 319km/h
19. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 2m 6.741s 321km/h
20. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 2m 6.939s 313km/h
21. Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART)* 2m 7.403s 305km/h
22. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing Project (ART) 2m 7.745s 312km/h
23. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Avintia)* 2m 7.761s 320km/h