Márquez secures pole for MotoGP opener in Qatar

Márquez secures pole for MotoGP opener in Qatar

22 March 2014 – Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez began his MotoGP title defence in perfect fashion as he pumped in a stunning last gasp lap to claim pole position for the season opening race in Qatar. Márquez narrowly eclipsed Gresini rider Álvaro Bautista and Tech 3’s Bradley Smith, who claimed the first front row start of his MotoGP career during a dramatic session.

Friday pace setter Aleix Espargaró crashed out of Q2 at Turn 2 when he lost the front end of his Forward Racing machine under braking. Márquez - riding with a broken leg which he sustained last month - subsequently took provisional pole during his first run in the 15 minute session and his time was almost beaten by Smith. The Brit was faster across the first half of the lap but lost time during the final sector and was just 0.002s slower than Márquez.

Márquez’s time came under threat from Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Bautista but only the latter was able to eclipse the time set by the reigning World Champion. Espargaró returned to the track on his spare bike and was quicker than Márquez's time as he entered the final sector but he again crashed out and wrecked his chances. It was a disappointing evening for the Spaniard, who had dominated the three practice sessions in the run up to qualiying.

Márquez quickly responded to Bautista’s time and stole top spot with a 1:54.507, 0.057s faster than Bautista, with Smith less than a tenth of a second behind in third. Dovizioso managed fourth, ahead of the Factory bikes of Lorenzo and Márquez’s Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa. LCR’s Stefan Bradl was seventh, while Ducati’s Cal Crutchlow made it through Q1 and will line up from eighth place on the grid.

Espargaró’s time was good enough for ninth, despite his two crashes, with Valentino Rossi in tenth. Andrea Iannone and Pol Espargaró rounded out the Q2 runners in 11th and 12th.

The first 15 minute session featured the riders who failed to set a top 10 time during practice – which automatically secures a berth in Q2 – and ultimately the younger Espargaró and Crutchlow progressed with ease.

Nicky Hayden failed to make it through to Q2 and the American rider will line up from 13th on the grid, ahead of Colin Edwards and Hiroshi Aoyama. Britain’s Scott Redding will start from 16th, ahead of Yonny Hernández.

Hernández was an early casualty as the Pramac rider lost control under braking for Turn 2 and slid off track. Mike Di Meglio was the other rider to encounter problems during Q1 as he took a tumble but was able to walk away from his accident.

Sunday's race begins under the floodlights at 22:00 local time (GMT+3)

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Wednesday 28 September 2016

  2. Video of the Day: Life of a suspension bolt 05:26

    Video of the Day: Life of a suspension bolt

    Red Bull, which produces over a million Formula 1 car parts a year, tells the story of a front suspension bolt.

    F1
  3. Tuesday 27 September 2016

  4. 17:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  5. Verstappen: Positive to be 'talking point' 15:36

    Verstappen: Positive to be 'talking point'

    Max Verstappen says it is positive to be a "talking point" in Formula 1, whether comments are good or bad, and insists he has…

    F1
  6. Video: Ricciardo previews Malaysian GP 13:02

    Video: Ricciardo previews Malaysian GP

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo looks ahead to this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

    F1
  7. Soft tyre favoured for Japanese Grand Prix 11:13

    Soft tyre favoured for Japanese Grand Prix

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has revealed the driver-by-driver selections for the Japanese Grand Prix, with the yellow-marked…

    F1
  8. BMW announces Andretti Formula E tie-in 10:49

    BMW announces Andretti Formula E tie-in

    German car manufacturer BMW has announced a tie-in with Andretti ahead of the 2016/17 Formula E season, in a move that could…

    FE
  9. Video: Formula E reflects on second season 10:32

    Video: Formula E reflects on second season

    Formula E looks back at its second season, ahead of the 2016/17 campaign beginning in Hong Kong.

    FE
  10. Mallya wary of 'twists and turns' over P4 09:38

    Mallya wary of 'twists and turns' over P4

    Vijay Mallya has hailed a strong atmosphere at Force India, as the team looks to strengthen its grip on fourth in the standings…

    F1
  11. Pirelli: New Sepang surface 'big unknown' 08:12

    Pirelli: New Sepang surface 'big unknown'

    Pirelli's Motorsport Director, Paul Hembery, is viewing the new track surface at the Sepang International Circuit as a "big…

    F1
  12. Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #3 05:26

    Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #3

    Next up in Williams' 'Life in the pit lane' series is Ed Smith, in charge of putting a wheel on the car.

    F1
  13. Monday 26 September 2016

  14. Hamilton out to end Rosberg's winning run 15:12

    Hamilton out to end Rosberg's winning run

    Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he needs to get back to winning ways if he is to clinch the 2016 title, after Mercedes…

    F1
  15. Honda still unsure over Malaysia upgrade 13:18

    Honda still unsure over Malaysia upgrade

    Honda is still unsure about introducing a power unit upgrade at the Malaysian Grand Prix, and will make a final call later in…

    F1
  16. Video: Hülkenberg's Malaysian GP preview 12:16

    Video: Hülkenberg's Malaysian GP preview

    Force India driver Nico Hülkenberg looks ahead to this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

    F1
  17. Rosberg: Upcoming races 'anyone's game' 11:16

    Rosberg: Upcoming races 'anyone's game'

    Nico Rosberg is refusing to get carried away by his recent run of victories, which have moved him back into the title lead…

    F1
  18. Haas to re-test new front wing in Malaysia 10:41

    Haas to re-test new front wing in Malaysia

    Haas will re-test its upgraded front wing at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, after a troubled weekend in Singapore last…

    F1
  19. Lorenzo: Crash helped me finish second 10:08

    Lorenzo: Crash helped me finish second

    Jorge Lorenzo reckons his warm-up crash was a crucial factor in him beating Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi to second position…

    MotoGP
  20. In photos: Button's 17 seasons in F1 07:44

    In photos: Button's 17 seasons in F1

    Jenson Button will start his 300th Grand Prix in Malaysia this weekend before stepping down from racing duties at the end of the…

    F1
  21. Interview: Button on reaching 300 races 07:36

    Interview: Button on reaching 300 races

    Jenson Button will contest his 300th Formula 1 race at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, cementing his position behind Rubens…

    F1
  22. Video of the Day: Jenson Button's 300 club 05:42

    Video of the Day: Jenson Button's 300 club

    Hear from Jenson Button, who will mark his 300th appearance in Formula 1 at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

    F1
  23. Sunday 25 September 2016

  24. 16:28

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  25. Márquez pleased to halt Rossi's momentum 16:03

    Márquez pleased to halt Rossi's momentum

    Marc Márquez admitted he was pleased to halt Valentino Rossi's momentum in the championship as he chalked up his fourth MotoGP…

    MotoGP
  26. Smith to make MotoGP return at Motegi 15:04

    Smith to make MotoGP return at Motegi

    Tech 3 has confirmed that Bradley Smith will return to MotoGP action at Motegi, after sitting out three rounds of the…

    MotoGP
  27. Márquez extends lead with Aragón victory 13:54

    Márquez extends lead with Aragón victory

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez extended his MotoGP championship lead with his fourth victory of the season, ahead of Yamaha pair…

    MotoGP
  28. Heineken eyes Formula 1 race in Vietnam 10:28

    Heineken eyes Formula 1 race in Vietnam

    Formula 1 Global Partner Heineken says it would like to see the sport branch out further into the Asia Pacific territory, and…

    F1
  29. Injured Lowes to miss Aragón Grand Prix 08:08

    Injured Lowes to miss Aragón Grand Prix

    Tech 3 rider Alex Lowes will not participate in the Aragón Grand Prix after being deemed unfit by medical staff on Sunday…

    MotoGP
  30. Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #2 05:42

    Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #2

    Williams continues its 'Life in the pit lane' series with #2 mechanic and front jack man Michael Payne.

    F1
  31. Saturday 24 September 2016

  32. 16:52

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Aragon

    MotoGP
  33. Vandoorne: 2017 was 'last chance' for seat 15:52

    Vandoorne: 2017 was 'last chance' for seat

    McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne says he knew he had to secure a full-time Formula 1 seat in 2017 if he was to ever graduate to the…

    F1
  34. Márquez dominates for pole at Aragón 13:57

    Márquez dominates for pole at Aragón

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez trounced his rivals as he flew to pole position at the Aragón Grand Prix, his sixth of the…

    MotoGP
  35. Lowes to skip qualifying after FP3 crash 11:42

    Lowes to skip qualifying after FP3 crash

    Tech 3 rider Alex Lowes will not take part in qualifying for the Aragón Grand Prix after crashing during the third practice…

    MotoGP
  36. Márquez heads crash-filled third session 09:56

    Márquez heads crash-filled third session

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez surged to the quickest time during a crash-filled third practice session at MotorLand…

    MotoGP
  37. Alex Lynn's GPUpdate column: Last rounds 09:05

    Alex Lynn's GPUpdate column: Last rounds

    Williams development driver and GP2 Series racer Alex Lynn will write a regular column for GPUpdate.net this year, charting his…

    GP2
  38. Video of the Day: Meet Felix Rosenqvist 05:32

    Video of the Day: Meet Felix Rosenqvist

    Find out more about reigning F3 Champion Felix Rosenqvist, who will race for Mahindra in Formula E this season.

    FE
  39. Friday 23 September 2016

  40. Corner named after Fernández in Mexico 15:26

    Corner named after Fernández in Mexico

    Mexican racing star Adrián Fernández has been appointed as an ambassador for his home country's Grand Prix and had Turn 12…

    F1
  41. Leclerc will not run in Malaysian GP practice 14:17

    Leclerc will not run in Malaysian GP practice

    Ferrari youngster Charles Leclerc will not carry out his planned Formula 1 practice run with Haas at the upcoming Malaysian…

    F1
  42. 14:05

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday in Aragon

    MotoGP
  43. Pedrosa moves ahead in second practice 14:03

    Pedrosa moves ahead in second practice

    Dani Pedrosa moved to the top of the times during second practice for the Aragón Grand Prix, ahead of Honda team-mate Marc…

    MotoGP
  44. Iannone replaced by Pirro after first practice 12:28

    Iannone replaced by Pirro after first practice

    Andrea Iannone will take no further part in the Aragón Grand Prix weekend, after riding through the pain of his back injury in…

    MotoGP
  45. Ricciardo backs Rosberg for maiden title 10:22

    Ricciardo backs Rosberg for maiden title

    Daniel Ricciardo says that he is now backing Nico Rosberg for the 2016 crown after the German reclaimed the championship lead…

    F1
  46. Márquez tops opening practice in Aragón 10:00

    Márquez tops opening practice in Aragón

    MotoGP title leader Marc Márquez topped the timesheets during Friday morning's first free practice session for the Aragón…

    MotoGP
more news