Marc Marquez waited until his final lap of qualifying to notch up another MotoGP pole. Marc Marquez waited until his final lap of qualifying to notch up another MotoGP pole. Photo courtesy motogp.com

Marquez makes it nine with MotoGP pole

Written by  on Saturday, 16 August 2014 15:55

Sunday’s MotoGP™ race at the bwin Grand Prix České republiky will get underway with Marc Marquez on pole, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone on row one of the grid.

Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) produced a rapid 1:55.585 lap on Saturday to take pole number nine of the season at round 11, as his brilliant season continues.

It was an incredibly tight qualifying session with just half a second separating the top 11 riders. Marquez secured pole position on his final lap of the session, just 0.058 off the 2013 pole record (1:55.527, Cal Crutchlow).

"I'm happy about the pole position today,” Marquez said. “I had Iannone behind me so the only solution was to push, because I had to set a hot lap. As for tomorrow's race, we have pole but the toughest rivals will start from the second row, especially Dani [Pedrosa]. We will see what condition Valentino [Rossi] is in and hopefully he can ride well, because he has also been strong this weekend and I hope Jorge [Lorenzo] can be in the fight too. I'm expecting a tough battle from start to finish for the win.”

A high speed crash in FP4 for Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) meant he went into Q2 with a dressing on the little finger of his left hand. The Italian will head up row three for his 245th premier class race.

Dovizioso (Ducati Team) matched his Indy qualifying performance in second, with his compatriot and colleague on Ducati machinery Iannone (Pramac Racing) qualifying third – for his second front row start of 2014.

Dovizioso was able to set his lap time with less of a slip stream than in Indianapolis. He will be looking to sharpen his pace over race distance and close the gap to the podium on Sunday.

“Yes, I am really happy. Here my feeling was better than in Indy. I made a good lap time, I was really strong and my lap time was not from riding behind Marquez. For the race it will be interesting, we have been very strong all weekend here,” he said.

“The drop in Indy was too big. I pushed very hard and Indy is very hard on the tires and the rider. Here we are in a better situation, we’d like to stay at the front but our aim is to reduce the gap. Our gap at Indy was 20 seconds, that’s too big.”

Both Ducati riders have recently received engine and aerodynamic upgrades to their GP14s.

Iannone commented, “Marc helped me a little for this lap. I will have to buy him dinner! But I am happy and I pushed very hard, to do my best in this session. Yesterday was tough for me, but today is better. Thank you to Ducati.

“I think two Ducatis with two Italians on the front row is very good for Italy. It’s incredible. It is very important for me to challenge and fight with Dovizioso tomorrow as I want to improve my pace and race craft.“

The pressure on Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) has been relieved somewhat by his recent contract extension for 2015 and his good Indy race result and he produced a good Q2 performance to qualify fourth.

The Englishman is joined on row two by the experienced Spanish pair of Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP).

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing) made it through from Q1 to qualify eighth and 12th respectively. Behind Bradl, Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) completes the third row.

Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) leads row four, with Crutchlow (Ducati Team) and Hernandez set to line up behind him.

The Moto2™ contest at the 11th round of the World Championship will see the grid led by Tito Rabat, while Tom Luthi and Sandro Cortese will also be on the first row.

Standings leader Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) secured his seventh pole start of the year with a new pole record at the Brno track with a 2:01.911 time.

Behind the Spaniard, Swiss rider Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and German competitor Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) were respectively 0.232s and 0.396s down on the pole time in second and third.

Sam Lowes (Speed Up), Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) will line up on row two, with Kallio walking away unhurt from a crash as he pushed hard in the final minutes of QP.

The Moto3™ pole was taken by Alex Marquez, with Isaac Viñales and Niccolo Antonelli also securing front row slots. Intermittent rain and a red flag while an air fence was repaired made it a tricky session for the riders.

Despite an accident in the Brno QP Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) took a second pole position of his career, with his compatriot Viñales (Calvo Team) joining him on the front row with a time 0.223s behind the pole lap. Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) improved late on (+0.315s) to take third.

Marquez crashed mid-session after running onto the gravel to avoid traffic as light rain started to fall, but despite a heavy tumble he was able to return for the rest of the session and take pole. The rain was intermittent and fell only at specific points on the track making it a tricky session for the riders to judge.

Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) will line up on row two.

--From motogp.com

MotoGP Qualifying Results (courtesy Repsol Honda)

Pos.

Rider

Num.

Nation

Team

Constructor

Time/Gap

1

Marc Marquez

93

ESP

Repsol Honda Team

HONDA

1'55.585

2

Andrea Dovizioso

4

ITA

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'55.714

3

Andrea Iannone

29

ITA

Pramac Racing

DUCATI

1'55.726

4

Bradley Smith

38

GBR

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

YAMAHA

1'55.730

5

Dani Pedrosa

26

ESP

Repsol Honda Team

HONDA

1'55.812

6

Jorge Lorenzo

99

ESP

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

YAMAHA

1'55.815

7

Valentino Rossi

46

ITA

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

YAMAHA

1'55.821

8

Stefan Bradl

6

GER

LCR Honda MotoGP

HONDA

1'55.871

9

Pol Espargaro

44

ESP

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

YAMAHA

1'55.899

10

Aleix Espargaro

41

ESP

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

YAMAHA

1'56.090

11

Cal Crutchlow

35

GBR

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'56.129

12

Yonny Hernandez

68

COL

Pramac Racing

DUCATI

1'56.622

13

Michele Pirro

51

ITA

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'57.093

14

Alvaro Bautista

19

ESP

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

HONDA

1'57.428

15

Scott Redding

45

GBR

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

HONDA

1'57.557

16

Hiroshi Aoyama

7

JPN

Drive M7 Aspar

HONDA

1'57.984

17

Karel Abraham

17

CZE

Cardion AB Motoracing

HONDA

1'58.100

18

Leon Camier

2

GBR

Drive M7 Aspar

HONDA

1'58.635

19

Danilo Petrucci

9

ITA

IodaRacing Project

IODA-SUTER

1'58.863

20

Alex De Angelis

15

RSM

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

YAMAHA

1'58.948

21

Hector Barbera

8

ESP

Avintia Racing MotoGP

FTR-KAWASAKI

1'58.968

22

Michael Laverty

70

GBR

Paul Bird Motorsport

ART & PBM

1'58.968

23

Broc Parkes

23

AUS

Paul Bird Motorsport

PBM

1'59.581

24

Mike Di Meglio

63

FRA

Avintia Racing MotoGP

FTR-KAWASAKI

2'00.117

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Last modified on Saturday, 16 August 2014 16:01

John Hopkins

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