Mugello - Spain's world champion Marc Marquez secured his sixth successive pole
position in six races this season as he timed fastest in qualifying for
Sunday's Italian MotoGP at Mugello.
The 21-year-old Honda rider,
who has won the opening five races this season to become the first rider
since Giacomo Agostini in 1972 to achieve that feat, was recording his
43rd career pole.
"I have already demonstrated that I am fast this
year but I am also showing I am consistent," said Marquez, whose six
poles in a row in MotoGP emulates the performance of Australian Casey
Stoner in 2008.
He edged out Italian Andrea Iannone and Spain's two-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha.
"I hope above all I don't crash," joked Iannone, who has acquired a reputation for crashing.
who has a had a poor season by his high standards and presently stands
in just fifth place in the championship race, 80 points adrift of
Marquez, was happy with his performance.
"I'm satisfied with
third place because it's important to start in the first row here to try
to avoid some problems with the first laps and be with the front
group," said the 27-year-old.
"I feel like it's a second place because Iannone has extra soft tyres that can maybe get some extra tenths."
had provided evidence of this as earlier on his Ducati he had
established in the practice session a new official top speed record for
the MotoGP world championship of 349.6km/h (217.2 mph).
compatriot, nine-time champion Valentino Rossi, was left fuming by a mix
up over his tyres which will see him start from 10th on the grid in
what will be his 300th race at this level.
"We made a big mistake
in the qualifying, we decided to change the front tyre at the same time
as the second rear," said the 35-year-old, who last year ended a two
season winning drought when he won the Dutch MotoGP.
"It was the wrong decision, I felt really bad with the softer front and I was unable to improve my lap time.
a great shame, because I had a good potential and could have started on
the front, my pace is good with the bike, but it's like this. Tomorrow
from the fourth row everything will be harder and more difficult." Grid for Italian motorcycling Grand Prix' after qualifying on Saturday at Mugello:
1. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 1min 47.270sec
2. Andrea Iannone (ITA/Ducati Pramac) at 0.180sec
3. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) 0.251
4. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 0.314
5. Pol Espargaro (ESP/Yamaha Tech3) 0.342
6. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Ducati) 0.389
7. Bradley Smith (GBR/Yamaha Tech3) 0.411
8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 0.484
9. Stefan Bradl (GER/Honda LCR) 0.495
10. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.521
11. Alvaro Bautista (Honda Gresini) 0.862
12. Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Yamaha Forward) 0.948