Marquez storms to pole at Czech MotoGP

2016-08-20 15:24
Marc Marquez (Getty Images)

Brno - Championship leader Marc Marquez grabbed the pole position for Sunday's Czech Republic MotoGP at Brno after taking Saturday's qualifying session by storm.

The 23-year-old Spanish Honda rider set a new record on the Brno circuit with 1min 54.596sec to take his fifth pole position of the season.

Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha, last year's winner at Brno, was the first to break the circuit record on Saturday, only to come second in the end, trailing his compatriot Marquez by 0.253sec.

Italian Ducati rider Andrea Iannone, who won the last MotoGP in Austria last weekend, will complete the front row, finishing 0.631sec behind Marquez.

"I didn't expect to be in the pole position because Lorenzo was very fast this morning, he did also an incredible lap, but I was pushing my 100 percent," said Marquez, the 2013 and 2014 MotoGP champion.

For the record lap, he used his rival Valentino Rossi, the 37-year-old nine-time world champion who has won five top-class races at Brno, the last one in 2009.

"I was lucky honestly, because Valentino was in front and with his slipstream I was able to be a little bit faster," said Marquez.

"On the last corner... I saw that Valentino was preparing the last lap and then I said OK I need to go for him because if not I will lose too much time."

"In the end this movement was the pole position," said Marquez, whose only top-class win at Brno dates back to his rookie MotoGP season in 2013.

Lorenzo said Marquez's record lap was "impressive".

"I pushed maybe to much, I braked too late, so I didn't have enough corner speed to be faster," said the 29-year-old Lorenzo, who will move to Ducati after the season.

"But we are happy with the second place, especially because we have a good pace, good setup to keep a constant pace during the race."

The second row comprises Spaniards Aleix Espargaro on a Suzuki and Hector Barbera on a Ducati alongside Italian legend Rossi on a Yamaha.

At Brno, Rossi won his first-ever grand prix exactly twenty years ago, taking the 125cc honours.

After 10 of 18 grand prix this season, Marquez leads the overall standings on 181 points, ahead of Lorenzo with 138 and Rossi with 124.

Grid for Sunday's Czech MotoGP at Brno after final qualifying on Saturday:

First row

1. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 1min 54.596sec; 2. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) at 0.253sec; 3. Andrea Iannone (ITA/Ducati) 0.631

Second row

4. Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Suzuki) 0.728; 5. Hector Barbera (ESP/Ducati) 0.841; 6. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.913

Third row

7. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 1.152; 8. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Suzuki) 1.191; 9. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 1.245

Fourth row

10. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda) 1.334; 11. Bradley Smith (GBR/Yamaha) 1.519; 12. Pol Espargaro (ESP/Yamaha) 1.926

Read more on:    marc marquez  |  motorsport


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