Bike News

09 November 2013

Marquez takes pole for the final race of the season

Very nearly there for the rookie, as he beats Lorenzo to pole position at Valencia

Amaan Ahmed
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Here we are. The last race of the 2013 MotoGP season, at Valencia. And it's shaping up to be a cracker - two men slugging it out for the title of 'world champion', that too in their home country. Marc Marquez has already made his first move by securing pole position today, with worrying signs for Jorge Lorenzo.

You see, though Lorenzo notched up the fastest-ever qualifying lap at the circuit on his very first flying lap, his bike developed engine problems, and there was an issue with the rear brakes too. He swapped bikes mid-way, but never really got going thereafter, only being able to register the second best time of the session.

Marquez on the other hand, didn't really get that good a start, and had a big moment on his bike at Turn One, but still went on to beat Lorenzo's time and take pole for the ninth time in his rookie season. That's half the MotoGP calendar right there.

Taking the third spot on the grid is Marquez's team-mate and now out-of-the-reckoning Dani Pedrosa, leading Valentino Rossi in fourth place. Cal Crutchlow qualified fifth for what will be his final race with Tech 3 Yamaha, with fellow Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith in sixth. Alvaro Bautista took a great big tumble, but managed to take seventh, ahead of Stefan Bradl and Andrea Dovizioso. Nicky Hayden, also racing with Ducati for the last time, qualified in tenth.

If Lorenzo is to retain his crown, an awful lot of things will need to go in his favour - he needs help from other riders to make sure Marquez doesn't finish any higher than fifth, which will need Marquez to ride really badly for him to finish a race that low. And let's not forget, Lorenzo will also need to win this, full stop.

The brief's a bit easier for Marquez - finish anywhere ahead of the reigning world champion to become the youngest-ever MotoGP title-holder. You have to admit that the pressure is on him, though, since he's got one hand on the trophy, and it is his to lose from here on.

This is it. Marquez vs Lorenzo, one last time. Who's gonna come up trumps tomorrow?

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

Tags: valencia, dani pedrosa, cal crutchlow, valentino rossi, repsol honda, lorenzo, marquez, moto gp, motogp

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