Bike News

28 September 2013

Marquez on pole at Aragon

The rookie takes his seventh - third in a row - pole of the season at his home circuit, but only just

Amaan Ahmed
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"Save the best for last" seemed to be the order of the day at MotorLand Aragon today. Not right until the end of Q2 did we know who would be starting the race from pole position on Sunday. But Q2 has ended, and it's that man again - Marc Marquez, has taken the top spot for the third time in succession.

It was a really, really close finish, but there was a fair bit of shuffling up front. The start of Q2 saw Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi pick up the first two spots, then Dani Pedrosa broke Casey Stoner's qualifying record at the circuit to push Lorenzo down to second. Which is when Marquez came slip-slidin' and pushed the world champion further down to third.

Stefan Bradl, rather stealthily, put in a lap faster than all of them to take provisional pole. Once they headed in for a change of tyres, Pedrosa snatched first place from the German, and Rossi claimed second place once again. It would've stayed that way had Lorenzo and Marquez not saved their best for last.

With the tyres losing traction every now and then, #99 first registered a blistering sub-1m 48s lap to take pole with mere seconds left for the chequered flag to come out, but Marquez just, just managed to nudge past the world champion's lap time to take his seventh pole of the season by one-hundredth of a second.

All of this last-gasp action meant that Pedrosa had to make do with third, while Rossi was relegated to fourth place. Honda riders Bradl and Alvaro Bautista follow in fifth and sixth, with the Tech3 duo of Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith occupying seventh and eighth. The last time Ducati had two riders on the podium was in 2010 as this very circuit, but today, Dovizioso took ninth, and Nicky Hayden could only manage eleventh. Aleix Espargaro looked a cut above the rest of the CRT pack, notching up tenth place.

If you've followed this business closely, you'll have noticed something: Marquez has taken pole in the last two races, but Lorenzo has managed to hold him off and win at both venues. Now, Aragon has never been Yamaha's favourite hunting ground (or even Lorenzo's for that matter - he's never won a race at this circuit) with not even a single MotoGP win for the team here, but they'll be looking to make amends. Can they finally do it? Or will Pedrosa have one last shot at that championship? He won at Aragon last year, and a repeat performance tomorrow would make for a much-needed birthday present...

Qualifying:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Dani Pedrosa
4. Valentino Rossi
5. Stefan Bradl
6. Alvaro Bautista
7. Cal Crutchlow
8. Bradley Smith
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Aleix Espargaro
11. Nicky Hayden
12. Andrea Iannone
13. Yonny Hernandez   
14. Hiroshi Aoyama   
15. Danilo Petrucci
16. Randy De Puniet   
17. Colin Edwards   
18. Claudio Corti   
19. Hector Barbera   
20. Michael Laverty   
21. Bryan Staring   
22. Luca Scassa
23. Lukas Pesek
24. Damian Cudlin

Tags: aragon, repsol honda, dani pedrosa, valentino rossi, jorge lorenzo, marc marquez, moto gp, motogp