Marquez makes it two in two with Austin pole

Posted by Amaan Ahmed at 21:53 pm on Saturday April 12, 2014

Speaking to the media at the end of Q2, Marc Marquez said something about him not being able to nail a perfect lap during Qualifying.

He must surely have been joking / humbly understating his performance / rubbing salt into the open wounds of his rivals, for even after a supposedly far-from-perfect ride, he's taken pole position at the Circuit of the Americas. That's two pole starts in two races this year, and also his second pole in his second COTA race.

Right from the get-go, Marquez was on the charge. His first run on the hard compound tyres got him first place, and he held that position throughout the 15 minutes of Q2. He almost lost the front end of his Honda on his second lap, rescued it miraculously and chalked up an even faster time.

Not satisfied with just having secured first position, he went back out for two more laps on medium compound tyres, and ended up obliterating the qualifying lap record at the COTA, a record he'd set last year. And this, remember, with his leg still not having healed completely.

Following the world champion in second place is his team-mate Dani Pedrosa, the man who'd seemingly taken charge at the circuit last year, only for Marquez to overtake him towards the end of the race and kickstart a series of victories. Completing the Honda-heavy first row is LCR's Stefan Bradl, who will be wanting to make amends for his showing in Qatar.

Unsurprisingly, the second row is occupied completely by Yamaha. And you wouldn't believe who was the man piloting the fastest Yam - not Lorenzo, not Rossi, not any of the satellite riders - it was NGM's Aleix Espargaro. He couldn't make it count in Qatar, but this time, he maintained his Practice session pace during Qualifying too, and having not crashed like last time, managed to take fourth place ahead of Lorenzo and The Doctor. Both factory riders weren't as close to the Hondas as they would've hoped, but the top six bikes finished well within a second of each other, so the race should be a ripper.

Cal Crutchlow was the fastest Ducati rider today, and he will start from seventh position, with team-mate Dovizioso in tenth. Gresini Honda didn't have a very good day today, with Alvaro Bautista only being able to take 12th position, and Scott Redding not even making it to Q2.

Marquez will be looking for that "perfect" lap tomorrow, but he's also the man in the cross hairs of all other riders now. Will it be an encore of 2013, or will we see something special from one of the Open class challengers?

Qualifying:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Stefan Bradl
4. Aleix Espargaro
5. Jorge Lorenzo
6. Valentino Rossi
7. Cal Crutchlow
8. Bradley Smith
9. Andrea Iannone
10. Andrea Dovizioso
11. Pol Espargaro
12. Alvaro Bautista
13. Scott Redding
14. Nicky Hayden
15. Yonny Hernandez
16. Hiroshi Aoyama
17. Karel Abraham
18. Hector Barbera
19. Colin Edwards
20. Michael Laverty
21. Broc Parkes
22. Danilo Petrucci
23. Mike Di Meglio

TAGS// yamaha, jorge lorenzo, valentino rossi, repsol honda, circuit of the americas, cota, marc marquez, moto gp, motogp

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