Marquez Marches On With Indianapolis Pole Position


Marc Marquez’s current dominance of MotoGP shows no sign of relenting as the 20 year old romped to pole position in Indianapolis. The championship leader had been quickest in every session leading into qualifying and duly claimed pole position, a full half-second ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa who will join him on the front row.

The 20 year old set provisional pole on his very first lap of Q2 and never headed from there. His initial flyer of 1:38.440 would have secured him pole position anyway as it turned out but without the luxury of hindsight, Marc maintained a scintillating pace. A second effort lowered the target tie by one thousandth of a second but the next improvement was substantially greater, moving him into the 1:37s and onto a level far higher than any of his rivals could aspire to reach.

The task for his title rivals was to make sure they started as close to Marc as possible and Cal Crutchlow threatened to become the spoiler, going second fastest with a 1:38.502, but Lorenzo edged in front by three hundredths of a second while Pedrosa somehow squeezed between the pair of them to secure third on the grid.

Behind Crutchlow came a three tenth gap to Alvaro Bautista while Nicky Hayden made use of a slipstream from Marquez’s Honda to tow him up to sixth. The American’s improvement knocked Bradley Smith off the second row but the British rookie will still start seventh, ahead of Stefan Bradl after the German crashed at turn one. It wasn’t his only spill of the day having tumbled at turn four during the fourth practice session.

With the Tech 3 Yamahas in fourth and seventh, Valentino Rossi is the last YZR-M1 rider on tomorrow’s grid after qualifying a lowly ninth, just one place ahead of Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati. The final places in Q2 were taken by Andrea Iannone and the flying Colin Edwards with Aleix Espargaro missing out, partly due to a painful fall in FP4 when a crash at the final bend flipped him over the handlebars. The Aspar rider will at least start tomorrow which is more than can be said for the luckless Ben Spies who dislocated his shoulder in a practice spill and was forced to withdraw.