Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has claimed his third successive pole, continuing his perfect start to the 2014 for tomorrow’s 25 lap race at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina. Jorge Lorenzo returns to the front row to start from second position with Dani Pedrosa starting third on the grid.
Marquez set a superb 1’37.683s late in the 15 minute showdown to maintain his 100% 2014 pole record while Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s 2010 and 2012 MotoGP title winner Lorenzo improved his best time significantly in the final stages to qualify second, a 0.742s margin from pole.
Pedrosa, meanwhile, was not far behind Lorenzo in third, his best time of 1’38.651s leaving him a second off the pole pace.
Marc Marquez: “Today I really felt good on the bike and I am happy to have taken pole position! In the morning and in FP4, we worked a lot with the used tyre and this afternoon we obviously focused on qualifying. I put in a very good lap and I think that tomorrow it will be interesting to see which tyre will be required for the race, because there are various options for both the front and the rear – it is going to be a difficult choice! One of the keys for the race will be tyre management, in order to try to get to the end with optimal grip – which will allow us to make the difference”
Jorge Lorenzo: “We are trying to solve every challenge we can to be as competitive as possible. Today we made a small modification before the qualifying practice that proved to be good. It was better entering the corner and also gave us more traction so I could be a bit faster. I pushed at the maximum with the soft tyre to make a fast lap time and was able to make it. We are trying our best to be as competitive as possible and take the maximum so we are satisfied with the result.”
Dani Pedrosa: “Qualifying did not go perfectly. I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be and I know that I made a few mistakes – especially on the final corner – which hindered me a lot. However, I’m happy, because the important thing is that we had some good practice sessions. We are high up the grid for tomorrow, so we shall try to make the most of this and have a good race”
Another good performance from Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) on the ‘Open’ Forward-Yamaha puts him at the head on the second row, with Italians Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) qualifying just behind him.
After making it through from Q1 Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) will shoot for another top five race result from the front of row three, with Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) behind him. Bradl walked away from a big highside but looked somewhat shaken by the crash.
Alvaro Baustista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and the other rider to make it through from Q1, Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar), will get away from the fourth row.
Aussie Broc Parkes (Paul Bird Motorsport) will start from 18th position.
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 37.683s 327km/h (Top Speed)
2. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 38.425s +0.742s 322km/h
3. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 38.651s +0.968s 325km/h
4. Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 38.794s +1.111s 320km/h
5. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 1m 38.856s +1.173s 324km/h
6. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 38.949s +1.266s 321km/h
7. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 38.958s +1.275s 322km/h
8. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 1m 39.237s +1.554s 325km/h
9. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 1m 39.297s +1.614s 323km/h
10. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 1m 39.429s +1.746s 325km/h
11. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 1m 39.822s +2.139s 321km/h
12. Nicky Hayden USA Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 1m 40.541s +2.858s 310km/h
13. Scott Redding GBR Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R)* 1m 40.238s
14. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 40.476s
15. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 1m 40.615s
16. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 1m 40.616s
17. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 1m 40.691s
18. Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART)* 1m 40.981s
19. Michele Pirro ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 1m 41.018s
20. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 1m 41.103s
21. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Avintia) 1m 41.129s
22. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Avintia)* 1m 41.267s
23. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing Project (ART) 1m 41.686s
Moto3 – Jack Miller secures pole
The first ever World Championship qualifying session at the new Termas de Rio Hondo track saw Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) take a second successive pole with a 1’49.200s lap, with the Australian rider to be joined on the front row by Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) and Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo).
Championship leader Miller has been quickest in every Moto3™ session so far this weekend at the Gran Premio Red Bull de la Republica Argentina and he will aim for a third successive win in 2014 in Sunday’s race, having secured pole at the renovated 4.8km circuit.
Vazquez pushed hard to challenge Miller in the final stages, only to miss out by just 0.052s, whilst Kent was over 0.4s down.
The second row will comprise of Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team) and SKY Racing Team VR46 teammates Romano Fenati and Francesco Bagnaia who will all aim to be in the podium hunt.
The third row qualifiers were Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo), Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Livio Loi (Marc VDS Racing Team), whilst Alessandro Tonucci (CIP Mahindra) heads the fourth row having completed the QP top ten.
Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) crashed after just five minutes and then Eric Granado (Calvo Team) did the same, though both riders soon rejoined. A crash for Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) and Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) saw Masbou walk away after going under Binder’s bike.
Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crashed at speed at turn 9 at end of session but was also unhurt. None of the crashing riders were able to get close to top ten times.