Marc Marquez grabs pole in sunny Jerez
Marc Marquez will be on pole for Sunday’s MotoGP race at the Gran Premio bwin de España, with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa joining him on the front row.
On his 100th Grand Prix weekend Marquez produced a superb late 1’38.120 lap to smash the pole record at Jerez, qualifying 0.421s ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Lorenzo and 0.510s in front of his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa.
Heading the second row after an intriguing Q2 run in the southern Spanish heat is the most successful rider on the grid at Jerez, with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi (+0.737) qualifying fourth at the track where he boasts six premier class victories.
Joining him on row two are Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). A late crash for Espargaro hindered his Q2 efforts in the final minutes and he missed out on a potential front row.
The third row will host young trio Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), with Smith recovering well from a big crash on Friday.
Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) is accompanied by American pair Colin Edwards (NGM Forward Racing) and Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) on the fourth row, whilst the likes of Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) will start from further back having failed to make Q2.
The World Championship action at the Gran Premio bwin de España on Saturday concluded with Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) taking Moto2™ pole, ahead of Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Luis Salom (Pons HP 40) on the front row.
The cool Finn defied the sweltering heat in Andalusia to outpace his rivals with a 1’42.766s to put him 0.3s ahead of Cortese and 0.4s beyond Salom on row one.
The second line of the Jerez grid will comprise Swiss pair Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), along with championship leader Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team). Those three all qualified within 0.5s of Kallio.
The qualifying top ten was completed by Jonas Folger (AGR Team), Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40), Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3) and Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing).
Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Moto2) crashed early in the session but was able to rejoin, as was Azlan Shah (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) who was also unhurt in an early fall. Louis Rossi (SAG Team) crashed with five minutes to go, ending his session early and a last lap crash left Sam Lowes (Speed Up) down in 15th – though they too were both unharmed.
FP3 crasher Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2) missed the QP after being taken to hospital for checks on his left hip and femur. He is a fitness doubt for Sunday’s race but scans have not yet definitively identified the extent of his injury.
Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) secured the third pole position of his career and the third of 2014 at the Gran Premio bwin de España, with a rapid 1’46.173 lap putting him ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) and Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) on the front row.
In the heat of the Spanish sunshine championship leader Miller maintained his good form to qualify a considerable 0.615s ahead of his nearest rival Antonelli for the fourth race of the year. It is also Miller’s third pole in a row.
Joining Miller and Antonelli on the front row is Spaniard Rins, with row two comprising two further Spanish riders Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team) and Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) – whilst Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) is sixth.
Row three, meanwhile, comprises Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG), Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) and John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG), in front of tenth best qualifier Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46), who of won the race in Argentina from fifth on the grid.
Juanfran Guevara (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) qualified 17th after a crash early in the session, whilst technical issues hindered Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and he ended up 29th.