Marc Marquez became the youngest ever polesitter in Grand Prix racing's premier class on Saturday. Marc Marquez became the youngest ever polesitter in Grand Prix racing's premier class on Saturday. Photo by Les Kalman

Marquez claims first career MotoGP pole

Written by  on Sunday, 21 April 2013 12:32

On only his second MotoGP™ race weekend, 20-year-old Marc Marquez achieved pole position for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas on Saturday. The Repsol Honda Team rider led teammate Dani Pedrosa, as championship leader Jorge Lorenzo appeared to miscalculate his final run en route to third place.

Fastest all weekend so far with the exception of third practice, Marquez had also topped a three-day test session at the new Circuit of the Americas last month. On Saturday afternoon, he posted the quickest ever MotoGP™ lap time at the Texan venue, delivering 2:03.021 and thus undercutting 1983 and 1985 World Champion Freddie Spencer to become the youngest ever pole-sitter in the top class of the sport.

"We are happy of course because we have taken our first pole position, which is important and always exciting," Marquez said after the session, complete with the wide smile that has already become a trademark of his. "We knew beforehand that we could fight for pole, but you never know what will happen in the session. Both Dani and Jorge are fast over a single lap - and we managed to overcome them.

“The important stuff starts tomorrow because we have a long, physical race with many of changes of direction to deal with. We need to be ready because tomorrow is what really counts and I will do the best that I can."

Pedrosa lowered his personal best on the final run but missed out on pole by two and a half tenths, whereas Lorenzo appeared to avoid traffic by touring through the pit lane - only to rejoin the track too late to post a last-gasp challenge.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow – who had not attended the test last month – will head up Row 2 from LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.

The top eight is completed by GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi.

Ninth on the grid will be leading CRT rider Aleix Espargaro, as the Power Electronics Aspar rider not only jumped up from Q1 but proceeded to out-qualify both Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden (10th) and Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies (12th). Between the two Americans will be Tech 3 newcomer Bradley Smith, starting 11th in Round 2.

The fifth row will be headed up by Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone, who like 14th-placed Randy de Puniet (Aspar) had challenged but failed to earn a spot in Q2. In 15th position, Hector Barbera will be the leading Avintia Blusens rider, starting the race in front of PBM duo Yonny Hernandez and Michael Laverty, NGM Mobile Forward Racing pairing Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci and Blusens’ Hiroshi Aoyama.

The back row will consist of Australian Bryan Staring, Czech Lukas Pesek and American wildcard rider Blake Young for Gresini, Ioda and Attack Performance Racing, respectively.

Twenty-four riders will start Sunday’s race. Wildcard Michael Barnes (GPTech) failed to make the 107 percent threshold, whereas Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham has sustained a fracture to his right collarbone following a collision with Staring in Q1. The Czech has since undergone surgery in the Brackenridge University Hospital of Austin and has been declared unfit to race on Sunday. He may be able to return next time out in Jerez.

The inaugural Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas begins at 2:00pm local time on Sunday. All of the action can be followed live on motogp.com.

Britain’s Scott Redding will start at the front of the grid for Sunday’s Moto2™ race in Austin. On his first pole position in any category of the World Championship, the Marc VDS Racing Team rider will share the front row with Takaaki Nakagami and Nico Terol. Championship leader Pol Espargaro starts seventh.

Displacing Italtrans Racing Team’s Nakagami, Redding – second in the standings – registered 2:10.577 and was almost seventh tenths of a second quicker. Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Terol (who achieves his first Moto2 front row) was just two hundredths of a second down on Nakagami as Tuenti HP 40’s Esteve Rabat and Technomag carXpert’s Dominique Aegerter rounded out the top five.

Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins dominated the Moto3™ qualifying session for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. The 17-year-old from Barcelona, who was also on pole for last year’s Spanish Grand Prix, will share Sunday’s front row with championship leader Luis Salom and Maverick Viñales.

Having already topped the final practice session, Rins proceeded to register a blistering pace of 2:16.396 and firmly placed his Estrella Galicia 0,0 bike at the front of the grid.

MotoGP Qualifying Results (courtesy Repsol Honda)

  1. 1                Marc Marquez                 2'03.021                SPA       HONDA                 Repsol Honda Team
  2.   2              Dani Pedrosa    2'03.275                SPA       HONDA                 Repsol Honda Team
  3.   3              Jorge Lorenzo   2'04.100                SPA       YAMAHA              Yamaha Factory Racing
  4.   4              Cal Crutchlow   2'04.267                GBR      YAMAHA              Monster Yamaha Tech 3
  5.   5              Stefan Bradl      2'04.445                GER       HONDA                 LCR Honda MotoGP
  6.   6              Andrea Dovizioso            2'04.873                ITA        DUCATI                 Ducati Team
  7.   7              Alvaro Bautista                 2'04.942                SPA       HONDA & FTR     Go & Fun Honda Gresini
  8.   8              Valentino Rossi                2'05.380                ITA        YAMAHA              Yamaha Factory Racing
  9.   9              Aleix Espargaro                2'05.389                SPA       ART         Power Electronics Aspar
  10.   10           Nicky Hayden   2'05.568                USA      DUCATI                 Ducati Team
  11.   11           Bradley Smith   2'06.740                GBR      YAMAHA              Monster Yamaha Tech 3
  12.   12           Ben Spies           2'07.044                USA      DUCATI                 Ignite Pramac Racing Team
  13.   13           Andrea Iannone              2'06.872                ITA        DUCATI                 Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
  14.   14           Randy De Puniet             2'07.129                FRA       ART         Power Electronics Aspar
  15.   15           Hector Barbera                2'07.717                SPA       FTR          Avintia Blusens
  16.   16           Yonny Hernandez           2'07.738                COL       PBM       Paul Bird Motorsport
  17.   17           Michael Laverty               2'08.259                GBR      PBM       Paul Bird Motorsport
  18.   18           Colin Edwards   2'08.475                USA      FTR-KAWASAKI  NGM Mobile Forward Racing
  19.   19           Claudio Corti     2'08.792                ITA        FTR-KAWASAKI  NGM Mobile Forward Racing
  20.   20           Danilo Petrucci                 2'08.825                ITA        IODA-SUTER        Came IodaRacing Project
  21.   21           Hiroshi Aoyama               2'09.062                JAP        FTR          Avintia Blusens
  22.   22           Bryan Staring    2'10.098                AUS      HONDA & FTR     Go & Fun Honda Gresini
  23.   23           Lukas Pesek      2'10.507                CZE        IODA-SUTER        Came IodaRacing Project
  24.   24           Blake Young      2'10.606                USA      APR CRT                Attack Performance
  25.   25           Karel Abraham                 2'03.275                CZE        ART         Cardion AB Motoracing

--From motogp.com

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John Hopkins

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