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Marquez outguns Viñales in Texas qualifying

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 23rd April, 2017 - 6:28am

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Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez has snatched a fifth straight pole position at the Grand Prix of The Americas despite the best efforts of Maverick Viñales.

The front row starters all set their respective fastest laps after the chequered flag, with Valentino Rossi making the top three after a controversial moment with team-mate Viñales earlier in Q2.

After Viñales had threatened to upstage the man who is undefeated in Texas, setting the pace in practice while Marquez crashed twice in FP3, the Repsol Honda rider nailed back-to-back fastest laps of the weekend to start qualifying.

Viñales, however, was held up on his first run when he came up on a slow-moving Rossi at Turn 19, and was seen remonstrating with his Movistar Yamaha team-mate when the pair started their second runs.

The championship leader was second by that point in time, but set the first 2:02s lap after the chequered flag flew as he threw down an almighty challenge to Marquez.

However, Marquez dug deep to beat his compatriot by 0.13s with an even later effort.

“Yesterday was not the best day for me,” said the Spaniard.

“I was struggling a little bit, I was not comfortable with the set-up of the bike.

“This morning we did a big change and FP3 was not the best for me because I crashed two times, but I still felt okay and this afternoon I just concentrated on the rhythm.”

Viñales meanwhile downplayed his spat with Rossi.

“It’s something that did happen, it’s normal – there were many, many riders (on track)” said the 22-year-old.

“I was just angry because I was going on a hot lap, it’s normal. Riders get angry when you cannot finish your lap.”

Just metres in front of Marquez’s pole lap, Rossi had jumped from the third row to the first, his best grid position of the season after starts of 10th and seventh in the first two races.

“I saw Maverick say to me something but I did my lap so I don’t know,” explained the Italian.

“When the lap is very long you don’t have enough wait for any strategy, you have to go, so everybody is in the track at more or less at the same time.”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) was bumped to fourth, Johann Zarco (Tech 3 Yamaha) was fifth, and Jorge Lorenzo (factory Ducati) will also start on the second row after coming through Q1.

Andrea Dovizioso (factory Ducati), Jonas Folger (Tech 3 Yamaha), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), and Scott Redding (Pramac Ducati) round out the top 10.

Andrea Iannone (factory Suzuki) and Jack Miller (Marc VDS Honda) both crashed during Q2 on their way to 11th and 12th respectively, the latter having topped Q1.

Save of the day went to Loris Baz, who let Lorenzo off the hook in Q1 when he nearly crashed twice in one incident, somehow managing to stay on his Avintia Ducati at the final corner.

Suzuki’s Alex Rins’ weekend is over already after a crash during FP3 fractured the Spaniard’s wrist.

He wasn’t alone in going down during the session, with Aleix Espargaro also dropping his Gresini Aprilia twice as eight riders crashed 10 times between them.

The 21-lap Grand Prix of The Americas starts on Monday at 0500 AEST.

Qualifying: Grand Prix of The Americas

Pos Rider Nation Team Bike Time Gap 1st/Prev
1 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 2’02.741  
2 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2’02.871 0.130 / 0.130
3 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2’03.673 0.932 / 0.802
4 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 2’03.866 1.125 / 0.193
5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 2’03.928 1.187 / 0.062
6 Jorge LORENZO SPA Ducati Team Ducati 2’04.151 1.410 / 0.223
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 2’04.431 1.690 / 0.280
8 Jonas FOLGER GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 2’04.623 1.882 / 0.192
9 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda 2’04.661 1.920 / 0.038
10 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati 2’04.673 1.932 / 0.012
11 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 2’05.741 3.000 / 1.068
12 Jack MILLER AUS EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 2’05.970 3.229 / 0.229
13 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati 2’05.221 Q1 / Q1
14 Loris BAZ FRA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 2’05.231 Q1 / 0.010
15 Hector BARBERA SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 2’05.541 Q1 / 0.310
16 Tito RABAT SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 2’05.920 Q1 / 0.379
17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 2’05.931 Q1 / 0.011
18 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 2’06.258 Q1 / 0.327
19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 2’06.295 Q1 / 0.037
20 Sam LOWES GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 2’07.232 Q1 / 0.937
21 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 2’07.601 Q1 / 0.369
22 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia  

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