Valencia - Spaniard Marc Marquez took another step towards becoming the youngest ever
MotoGP world champion as he broke the track record to take pole at the final
Grand Prix of the season in Valencia.
The 20-year-old, who just needs to finish in the top four in the race on
Sunday to seal the title in his first year as a MotoGP rider, destroyed the
previous track record held by Dani Pedrosa by six tenths of a second to finish
well ahead of championship rival and defending champion Jorge Lorenzo.
However, having already registered his record-breaking time, Marquez
suffered a scare on his final qualifying lap as he nearly came off his bike.
And the Honda rider is determined to not let a similar lapse of
concentration cost him dearly come race time.
"I had a little scare on the last lap because I didn't want to push too
hard and when you are not fully concentrated this is what happens," he
told Spanish TV station Telecinco.
"It was a little scare ahead of tomorrow to remind me I have to be 100
"The good thing is that I feel good, I have good rhythm on the bike and
I just have to concentrate on my own race tomorrow."
It turned out to be a frustrating afternoon for Lorenzo who had started the
day by going faster than Marquez for the first time this weekend in Saturday's
final practice session.
The defending world champion then set the early pace in qualifying, but was
forced to change bikes midway through the session and never came close to
threatening the time registered by his compatriot.
"All of a sudden the bike stopped working properly, we had to change to
the second bike and it is much worse so we couldn't fight with Marc for the
"We hope to fix the problem we had with the first bike for
However, even if the problem with his bike is fixed in time for the race,
Lorenzo is not convinced he will be lifting a third world championship come
"It is very difficult, 13 points is a lot. That Marc will finish fifth,
sixth or even worse is very hard to imagine. But we have to be very
concentrated on doing our job as best as we can and see what happens in the
Three-time winner in Valencia and Marquez's Honda teammate Pedrosa will also
start on the front row as he too bettered his track record from last year.
Seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi found himself in a familiar
position as he starts in fourth behind the three Spaniards.
Valencia motorcycling Grand Prix final qualifying results on Saturday:
1. Marc Marquez (ESP/Repsol Honda) 1:30.237, 2. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) at 0.340, 3. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Repsol Honda) 0.426, 4. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.683, 5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Yamaha Tech) 0.876, 6. Bradley Smith (GBR/Yamaha Tech) 0.964, 7. Alvaro Bautista (ESP/Gresini Honda) 1.357, 8. Stefan Bradl (GER/Honda LCR) 1.401, 9. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Team Ducati) 1.481, 10. Nicky Hayden (USA/Team Ducati) 1.633
1. Pol Espargaro (ESP/Kalex) 1:34.957, 2. Simone Corsi (ITA/Speed Up) at 0.318, 3. Jordi Torres (ESP/Suter) 0.395, 4. Esteve Rabat (ESP/Kalex) 0.402, 5. Thomas Luthi (SUI/Suter) 0.406, 6. Nicolas Terol (ESP/Suter) 0.406, 7. Alex De Angelis (SMR/Speed Up) 0.440, 8. Johan Zarco (FRA/Suter) 0.455, 9. Xavier Simeon (BEL/Kalex) 0.512, 10. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN/Kalex) 0.651
1. Alex Rins (ESP/KTM) 1:39.459, 2. Luis Salom (ESP/KTM) at 0.016 sec, 3. Maverick Vinales (ESP/KTM) 0.285, 4. Jonas Folger (GER/KTM) 0.377, 5. Jack Miller (AUS/FTR Honda) 0.584, 6. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA/FTR Honda) 0.906, 7. Alex Marquez (ESP/KTM) 1.015, 8. Alexis Masbou (FRA/FTR Honda) 1.122, 9. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (MAS/KTM) 1.168, 10. Efren Vazquez (ESP/Mahindra) 1.171