MotoGP: Marquez secures pole in tense qualifying

Marc saturday
Marquez held onto pole in tricky conditions Photo: Repsol Honda

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez will start tomorrow’s Argentinian race from pole position following a dramatic afternoon at the Termas de Rio Hondo ahead of Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

Sunny skies met the riders in Argentina and riders shaved seconds off their times from Friday and it was Marquez who ended free practise three on top, ahead of Lorenzo and Andrea Iannone. There was a tight battle for the final spot in Q2 which saw Valentino Rossi narrowly finish the morning in the top ten, knocking many big names down to fight it out in Q1.

Drama surrounded free practise four as Scott Redding’s rear tyre seemed to explode mid-way through the session, which led to the red flags being waved. Riders were allowed back out on track however events seems to escalate as red flags were waved again with four minutes left on the clock with no obvious incidents out on track. 

Race direction called for riders to be back in the pits as safety concerns surrounded the Michelin medium tyres. After clear investigations were made it was announced the final four minutes of FP4 would be underway in South America, which saw Lorenzo crash out at turn one.

Losing the front end of his YZR-M1, the reigning world champion walked away from the crash but he was unable to remount his bike. Marquez topped the dramatic session ahead of Iannone, Rossi and Lorenzo with an impressive pace from the young Spaniard.

Qualifying one saw a few riders crash out in the fifteen minutes, as Jack Miller crashed out twice in the session but everyone was able to walk away unhurt. Despite the crashes the session was slightly uneventful and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mates of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro were the two to go into qualifying 2.

It was Lorenzo who set the first flying lap of the second qualifying session, but it was Marquez who and set the fastest lap of the weekend to sit in pole position, and the Repsol Honda rider didn’t slip down off the top position.

Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo were the only two riders to get into the 1.39 bracket but Dani Pedrosa narrowly missed out on the front row.

Cal Crutchlow, Bradley Smith and finally Marc Marquez all fell victim to turn one at Termas de Rio Hondo but this didn’t affect Marquez’s chase for pole and all riders walked away unhurt.

For a full list of times click here.


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