Marquez amazes in qualifying at Austin

Youngest EVER winner, come Sunday?

Photo: Repsol Honda

After the second qualifying session of 2013, under the new format, it is Marc Marquez who will start tomorrow’s inaugural Austin Grand Prix from pole position.  The new style format once again provided much entertainment for fans, as was the intention, with the Repsol Honda rider ultimately setting a fastest time of 2m 3.021, on his 2nd flying lap of the Texan circuit.

The 15 minute Q1 session began with the bottom 14 riders battling it out for the top two to earn a place in QP2, it was Aspar CRT rider Aleix Espargaro and Britain’s Bradley Smith who made the cut. The likes of Iannone , de Puniet and Barbera fell short of the mark.

Rookie Bryan Staring and Desmosedici refugee Abraham had a coming together with 7 minutes to go. A mistake from Karel, wiping out the Aussie at slow speeds, going into turn 15. Karel suffered a broken collarbone in the collision, whether he will race or not tomorrow remains to be seen.

Michael Laverty on the PBM bike managed a highly respectable 17th. He sits less than half a second behind 16th placed team mate, Yonny Hernandez on the PBM ART CRT. MLav’s all new bike for this season is making progress, and showing good pace up against the other CRT’s, on a ‘blank canvas’ circuit.

Meanwhile, wildcarding Mike Barnes failed to qualify for even QP1, given he was out of the 107% barrier at the end of FP4. His participation in tomorrow’s race will be at the discretion of the race director.

‘Read more’ for Q2 story…

At the beginning of QP2 it seemed that all riders other than Marquez rushed out on track, with the young spaniard sitting out for the first couple of minutes. It was Lorenzo who primarily topped the sheets, immediately posting a 2:04.

Marquez ventured out quickly after to almost put the 2012 champion to shame, with a lap time of 2m 3.245, nearly a second and a half quicker than JL99. With 8 minutes to go, Repsol Honda’s senior rider, Dani Pedrosa responded to the ground breaking pace of his team mate, putting his RC213V into second place, but still a second off the top.

Less than a minute later, Marquez posted his earth shattering time of 2:03 dead. Only his team mate came within a second of his time at the end of the session, and even he was a quarter of a second off the pace.

All the while, Crutchlow was creeping up the leaderboard into fourth, forming his own little battle with LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl. The German relegated the Tech3 rider into 5th with a minute to go, but this was short lived as Cal moved back into 4th, come the time the flag came out.

Andrea Dovizioso moved into 6th spot with 5 minutes to go, ahead of Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista. They remain in their own little bubble, comfortably ahead of Rossi, and a few tenths behind Bradl.

Valentino Rossi had a near scare. He will start tomorrow’s race from 8th, just ahead of CRT rider Aleix Espargaro. Behind them lies the two Americans, Hayden and Spies… with Bradley Smith sandwiched between the Desmosedici riders. The trio round out the top twelve.

Results below:

1   Marc MARQUEZ   Repsol Honda Team   2’03.021    
2   Dani PEDROSA   Repsol Honda Team   2’03.275   0.254 / 0.254
3   Jorge LORENZO   Yamaha Factory Racing   2’04.100   1.079 / 0.825
4   Cal CRUTCHLOW   Monster Yamaha Tech 3   2’04.267   1.246 / 0.167
5   Stefan BRADL   LCR Honda MotoGP   2’04.445   1.424 / 0.178
6   Andrea DOVIZIOSO   Ducati Team   2’04.873   1.852 / 0.428
7   Alvaro BAUTISTA   GO&FUN Honda Gresini   2’04.942   1.921 / 0.069
8   Valentino ROSSI   Yamaha Factory Racing   2’05.380   2.359 / 0.438
9   Aleix ESPARGARO   Power Electronics Aspar   2’05.389   2.368 / 0.009
10   Nicky HAYDEN   Ducati Team   2’05.568   2.547 / 0.179
11   Bradley SMITH   Monster Yamaha Tech 3   2’06.740   3.719 / 1.172
12   Ben SPIES   Ignite Pramac Racing   2’07.044   4.023 / 0.304

Q1:

1   Aleix ESPARGARO   Power Electronics Aspar   2’06.112    
2   Bradley SMITH   Monster Yamaha Tech 3   2’06.591   0.479 / 0.479
3   Andrea IANNONE   Energy T.I. Pramac Racing   2’06.872   0.760 / 0.281
4   Randy DE PUNIET   Power Electronics Aspar   2’07.129   1.017 / 0.257
5   Hector BARBERA   Avintia Blusens   2’07.717   1.605 / 0.588
6   Yonny HERNANDEZ   Paul Bird Motorsport   2’07.738   1.626 / 0.021
7   Michael LAVERTY   Paul Bird Motorsport   2’08.259   2.147 / 0.521
8   Colin EDWARDS   NGM Mobile Forward Racing   2’08.475   2.363 / 0.216
9   Claudio CORTI   NGM Mobile Forward Racing   2’08.792   2.680 / 0.317
10   Danilo PETRUCCI   Came IodaRacing Project   2’08.825   2.713 / 0.033
11   Hiroshi AOYAMA   Avintia Blusens   2’09.062   2.950 / 0.237
12   Bryan STARING   GO&FUN Honda Gresini   2’10.098   3.986 / 1.036
13   Lukas PESEK   Came IodaRacing Project   2’10.507   4.395 / 0.409
14   Blake YOUNG   Attack Performance Racing   2’10.606   4.494 / 0.099
15   Karel ABRAHAM   Cardion AB Motoracing   2’23.317   17.205 / 12.711

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