Bradl sweeps to surprise Laguna Seca pole
20 July 2013 – Stefan Bradl has claimed pole position for the United States Grand Prix, the German capitalising on a high-speed crash from favourite Marc Marquez midway through Saturday’s second qualifying session to post a 1:21.176, finishing two hundredths of a second ahead of the Spaniard.
Bradl’s session-topping time came with just thirty seconds left on the clock. Marquez, who had gone quickest in the previous three practice sessions, had initially looked to be on course to finish atop the timesheets. The Repsol Honda rider recorded a string of weekend-best times, but ultimately crashed out while attempting to better his 1:21.193 run. With the Spaniard unable to record another flying lap, Bradl took advantage to claim his maiden pole position in motorcycle racing’s top class.
Alvaro Bautista made it an all-Honda front row with a 1:21.373, with Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi heading-up the second row after clocking a 1:21.418. Cal Crutchlow, who crashed in fourth practice, managed fifth after only setting a lap time in the closing stages due to a technical fault with his Tech 3 machine. The Briton had appeared to be visibly agitated with his mechanics prior to the start of qualifying.
Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, both of whom are riding with injured collarbones, finished sixth and seventh respectively, with Pedrosa having to negotiate his way through the first qualifying session after sitting out third practice this morning. The top ten is rounded out by Andrea Dovisioso, Briton Bradley Smith, and Ducati’s Nicky Hayden.
The warm-up session for tomorrow’s United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca will start at 10:40 local time (GMT -7)