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2014 After Qatar

Will start after first race
Marquez stripped of Austin pole after blocking Vinales

They can't beat him
Saturday, April 21, 2018

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Marquez is simply too good for the others
Marquez is simply too good for the others. He set fast time by a wide margin
Things got pretty hot in Texas in qualifying for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, with drama first striking as reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took a tumble at Turn 13 and was heading back to the garage on the back of a scooter as his rivals started to threaten his provisional pole. But the number 93 was able to get back out, and set a sixth pole position at the Circuit of the Americas – closely followed by the man who seems set to try and challenge him on Sunday, Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). It wasn’t done there, however.

Vinales, after an impressive show of race pace earlier in the day in FP4, came across a slower-moving Marquez on his first flyer on his second run and was forced to abandon the lap. Nevertheless, the Spaniard set the second quickest lap on a final push – and he’ll be starting from pole. After the incident between the two men was investigated by the FIM MotoGP™ Stewards, Marquez was given a three-place grid penalty and will therefore actually start from fourth.

Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) – another man who has been key competition for Marquez in practice – set the third fastest lap and will be starting from the front row and now second place, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) bumped back onto the front row to make it seven races in the row the Frenchman has lined up there.

He had Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) for very close company on the timesheets; the Italian just 0.019 back and now starting fifth, next to Marquez now heading up Row 2. And it was just as tight for sixth and the final spot on the second row, as Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was only another 0.065 in arrears behind the ‘Doctor’. Three men certain to attack right from lights out, with 20 World Championships between them.

Championship leader Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) took seventh as he aims to keep his points lead on Sunday, and he’s just ahead of the man chasing him in the standings, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) – who’s won off the third row before.

Vinales could not touch Marquez' times so he went crying to the officials
Vinales could not touch Marquez' times so he went crying to the officials
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) completes that star-studded third row. The three-time World Champion is racing only a week and a bit after surgery on a broken wrist sustained in the Argentina GP, and not only gained direct entry to Q2, but took a third row start in another superhuman effort.

Q1 graduate Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing), Argentina GP podium finisher Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) completed the top twelve – with Espargaro having put in a stunner to come through Q1 and get KTM’s first visit to Q2 this season. Thereafter, however, the KTM rider was also given a three-place grid penalty, meaning Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) will start P12.

It’s set up to be a stunner, with Vinales alongside Marquez and Rossi and Zarco gunning from Row 2. Think you can call it in the MotoGP League? Iannone already said it on Friday: “Anything is possible!”

Marc Marquez 93
POLE POSITION 2'03.658
“Basically, today was good for us, as we were the fastest in qualifying and, most importantly, were able to keep a good race pace in FP3 and FP4. Of course qualifying was a bit hectic. I crashed and had to take my second bike for the second run. I went out, and unfortunately I didn’t expect Maverick to arrive behind me because I was focused on Andrea (Iannone), who was waiting ahead and who I knew could be very fast. I apologized to Maverick but I didn’t realize he was behind me until I heard his engine. So tomorrow I’ll start from fourth. It will be important to choose the right tire; we’ve worked a lot on used tires and I was able to be consistent during the practices, but this track is quite physically demanding and tomorrow the temperature should be higher, so we’ll see. We’ll try and remain fully concentrated.”

Pos.

Rider

Num

Nation

Team

Constructor

Time/Gap

1

Marquez Marc

93

SPA

Repsol Honda Team

Honda

2'03.658

2

Vinales Maverick

25

SPA

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Yamaha

0.406

3

Iannone Andrea

29

ITA

Team Suzuki Ecstar

Suzuki

0.551

4

Zarco Johann

5

FRA

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Yamaha

0.552

5

Rossi Valentino

46

ITA

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Yamaha

0.571

6

Lorenzo Jorge

99

SPA

Ducati Team

Ducati

0.636

7

Crutchlow Cal

35

GBR

LCR Honda

Honda

0.798

8

Dovizioso Andrea

4

ITA

Ducati Team

Ducati

1.207

9

Pedrosa Dani

26

SPA

Repsol Honda Team

Honda

1.305

10

Petrucci Danilo

9

ITA

Alma Pramac Racing

Ducati

1.400

11

Rins Alex

42

SPA

Team Suzuki Ecstar

Suzuki

1.602

12

Espargaro Pol

44

SPA

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

KTM

2.171

13

Nakagami Takaaki

30

JPN

LCR Honda

Honda

2'05.457 Q1

14

Rabat Tito

53

SPA

Reale Avintia Racing

Ducati

2'05.686 Q1

15

Smith Bradley

38

GBR

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

KTM

2'05.761 Q1

16

Syahrin Hafizh

55

MAL

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Yamaha

2'05.873 Q1

17

Morbidelli Franco

21

ITA

EG 0,0 Marc VDS

Honda

2'05.943 Q1

18

Miller Jack

43

AUS

Alma Pramac Racing

Ducati

2'05.966 Q1

19

Espargaro Aleix

41

SPA

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Aprilia

2'06.035 Q1

20

Luthi Tom

12

SWI

EG 0,0 Marc VDS

Honda

2'06.222 Q1

21

Bautista Alvaro

19

SPA

Angel Nieto Team

Ducati

2'06.296 Q1

22

Redding Scott

45

GBR

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Aprilia

2'06.370 Q1

23

Abraham Karel

17

CZE

Angel Nieto Team

Ducati

2'06.537 Q1

24

Simeon Xavier

10

BEL

Reale Avintia Racing

Ducati

2'06.726 Q1

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