Dominant Marquez secures Barcelona pole

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez will start the Catalan Grand Prix from pole position after a commanding performance in qualifying.

The Repsol Honda rider claimed a maiden premier class pole at his home circuit ahead of Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

Marquez produced a stunning 1:43.905s with his first effort, the feat made even more remarkable given that he almost collided with Hector Barbera while setting the time.

After making a mistake at the start of his second run, Marquez went quicker again after the chequered flag, lowering the benchmark to a 1:43.589s.

“Yeah honestly I did a really good lap time,” said Marquez.

“This is something that I didn’t expect. We felt really good, we changed the set-up quite a lot for FP4, and we found something that we didn’t have before.”

Lorenzo finished nearly half a second adrift as he spent most of the 15-minute Q2 session in second position.

Having set the pace in Friday practice, the championship leader was disadvantaged by overnight revisions to the Circuit de Catalunya as a result of Luis Salom’s fatal crash during Moto2 free practice.

The remainder of the weekend will be run on the Formula 1 circuit, featuring a reprofiled Turn 10 and the Turn 14/15 chicane, which bypasses the scene of Salom’s crash and slows the run through the final corner.

“Unfortunately yesterday we had a bad day and Race Direction decided to change the track,” explained Lorenzo.

“For our bike it is difficult – strong braking, first gear corners – and we are struggling in the last sector.

“The safety should be better so we have to be happy about that but we are going to struggle a little bit more than yesterday.”

Pedrosa’s late effort denied Barbera an unlikely front row start, and the Avintia Ducati rider will instead head up the second row alongside Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Suzuki’s Maverick Viñales.

Last year’s pole-sitter Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki) missed Q2 and will start 13th, while Marc VDS Honda rider Jack Miller qualified 19th.

Sunday’s 25-lap grand prix is scheduled to start at 22:00 AEST.

Result: MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix Qualifying

Position Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1 Marc Marquez Honda 1:43.589s
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1:44.056s +0.467s
3 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1:44.307s +0.718s
4 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 1:44.322s +0.733s
5 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1:44.324s +0.735s
6 Maverick Vinales Suzuki 1:44.329s +0.740s
7 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1:44.366s +0.777s
8 Andrea Iannone Ducati 1:44.458s +0.869s
9 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 1:44.911s +1.322s
10 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1:45.029s +1.440s
11 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 1:45.030s +1.441s
12 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha 1:45.218s +1.629s
13 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1:44.914s +1.325s
14 Bradley Smith Tech3 Yamaha 1:45.197s +1.608s
15 Michele Pirro Avintia Ducati 1:45.538s +1.949s
16 Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati 1:45.690s +2.101s
17 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati 1:45.885s +2.296s
18 Stefan Bradl Aprilia 1:45.892s +2.303s
19 Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda 1:45.942s +2.353s
20 Tito Rabat Marc VDS Honda 1:46.205s +2.616s
21 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1:46.463s +2.874s

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