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. Sunday 26 June 2016

  2. Miller takes shock maiden win at Assen 14:25

    Miller takes shock maiden win at Assen

    Marc VDS rider Jack Miller claimed a shock maiden MotoGP victory during a thrilling topsy-turvy race at a wet Assen, despite…

    MotoGP
  3. Hamilton: Relationship with Rosberg 'really good' 10:51

    Hamilton: Relationship with Rosberg 'really good'

    Lewis Hamilton has described his current relationship with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg as "really good" and reckons it has…

    F1
  4. Stroll builds lead with double Norisring win 10:02

    Stroll builds lead with double Norisring win

    Williams development driver Lance Stroll cemented his advantage at the top of the F3 standings by winning twice and finishing…

    F3
  5. Renault sees back row as a 'one-off' 09:08

    Renault sees back row as a 'one-off'

    Renault's back-row qualifying result at last weekend's European Grand Prix in Baku has been described as a "one-off" occurrence…

    F1
  6. Video of the Day: Hamilton's Green Hell 05:24

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's Green Hell

    In a trailer for Mercedes' new AMG GT-R, Lewis Hamilton tackles a different version of the 'Green Hell'.

    F1
  7. Saturday 25 June 2016

  8. 22:38

    IndyCar photos: Saturday at Road America

    Indy
  9. Power secures pole at Road America 22:36

    Power secures pole at Road America

    Will Power calmly cruised to pole position at Road America on Saturday, staying 0.16s clear of the Ganassi duo of Scott Dixon…

    Indy
  10. 17:20

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  11. MotoGP bans winglets from 2017 17:18

    MotoGP bans winglets from 2017

    The Grand Prix Commission has elected to ban the use of winglets in MotoGP from the start of the 2017 season. The aerodynamic…

    MotoGP
  12. Lorenzo 'didn't feel safe' in wet conditions 16:57

    Lorenzo 'didn't feel safe' in wet conditions

    Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo admitted that he "didn't feel safe or comfortable" riding in wet conditions as he…

    MotoGP
  13. Orudzhev keeps Nissany at bay for win 15:51

    Orudzhev keeps Nissany at bay for win

    Egor Orudzhev resisted a late attack from Roy Nissany to collect his second win of the Formula V8 3.5 season at Paul…

    FV8 3.5
  14. Video: Road America practice highlights 14:34

    Video: Road America practice highlights

    Watch highlights from practice as IndyCar returns to Road America for this weekend's Kohler Grand Prix.

    Indy
  15. 14:00

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Assen

    MotoGP
  16. Dovizioso takes pole at damp Assen 13:59

    Dovizioso takes pole at damp Assen

    Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso claimed his first pole position of the season after storming to top spot during qualifying for the…

    MotoGP
  17. Assen gets 10-year MotoGP extension 11:17

    Assen gets 10-year MotoGP extension

    MotoGP organisers have confirmed that Assen will continue to host the Dutch TT until at least 2026 after a new 10-year deal was…

    MotoGP
  18. FIA moves to reward 'safer' drivers 10:36

    FIA moves to reward 'safer' drivers

    Drivers who avoid collecting penalty points in FIA-organised categories will be rewarded with points towards their Formula 1…

    F1
  19. Celis Jr. set for Austria practice run 10:04

    Celis Jr. set for Austria practice run

    Force India development driver Alfonso Celis Jr. will return to the cockpit of the VJM09 during Friday practice for next…

    F1
  20. Dovizioso tops third Dutch TT practice 09:51

    Dovizioso tops third Dutch TT practice

    Andrea Dovizioso maintained Ducati's position at the head of the field for the Dutch TT during a tightly-contested third…

    MotoGP
  21. Feature: Who should partner Vettel in 2017? 09:22

    Feature: Who should partner Vettel in 2017?

    With Nico Rosberg set to extend his stay at Mercedes, the key to this year's driver market appears to revolve around Ferrari…

    F1
  22. IndyCar confirms revised Texas plan 07:50

    IndyCar confirms revised Texas plan

    IndyCar officials have confirmed plans for resuming the Firestone 600, which will take place at the Texas Motor Speedway at the…

    Indy
  23. Video of the Day: 'Ferraristi per Sempre' 05:26

    Video of the Day: 'Ferraristi per Sempre'

    Earlier this week, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel and Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene were present at the opening of the new…

    F1
  24. Friday 24 June 2016

  25. 18:32

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Assen

    MotoGP
  26. Rossi to use standard frame at Assen 18:24

    Rossi to use standard frame at Assen

    Valentino Rossi has dropped Yamaha's new frame for the remainder of the Dutch TT, after testing it in practice, while team-mate…

    MotoGP
  27. Leclerc set for five FP1 outings with Haas 15:14

    Leclerc set for five FP1 outings with Haas

    Ferrari Driver Academy member Charles Leclerc is set to make five Formula 1 practice outings with the Haas team in 2016…

    F1
  28. Iannone stays on top in second practice 14:06

    Iannone stays on top in second practice

    Andrea Iannone remained at the top of the times with a late charge during Friday afternoon's second practice session for the…

    MotoGP
  29. Ricciardo expects stronger Austria showing 12:59

    Ricciardo expects stronger Austria showing

    Daniel Ricciardo is expecting Red Bull to enjoy a stronger showing at this year's Austrian Grand Prix, the squad's home event…

    F1
  30. Video: Lewis Hamilton's Baku trouble 11:07

    Video: Lewis Hamilton's Baku trouble

    In Mercedes' latest Studio Show, power unit chief Andy Cowell explains what de-rating is and Sporting Director Ron Meadows…

    F1
  31. Salo: Ferrari should keep Räikkönen 10:12

    Salo: Ferrari should keep Räikkönen

    Ex-Formula 1 driver Mika Salo reckons Ferrari should keep Kimi Räikkönen into 2017, for what would be a fourth successive…

    F1
  32. Iannone heads Ducati 1-2 in first practice 10:03

    Iannone heads Ducati 1-2 in first practice

    Andrea Iannone edged out team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in a Ducati 1-2 during the first free practice session for the Dutch TT at…

    MotoGP
  33. Interlagos seeks 2025 contract extension 09:02

    Interlagos seeks 2025 contract extension

    Brazilian Grand Prix organisers have moved to ease fears over the future of the event, following comments made by Formula 1…

    F1
  34. Alonso: 'A lot more' required for titles 08:23

    Alonso: 'A lot more' required for titles

    Fernando Alonso has admitted that the McLaren-Honda partnership still has "a long way to go" in terms of overall competitiveness…

    F1
  35. Video of the Day: James Allison interview 05:06

    Video of the Day: James Allison interview

    Ferrari's Technical Director, James Allison, discusses how a Formula 1 team splits resources between its current and future…

    F1
  36. Thursday 23 June 2016

  37. Crutchlow to remain at LCR for 2017 19:04

    Crutchlow to remain at LCR for 2017

    Cal Crutchlow has confirmed that he will be staying at LCR Honda in 2017, for what will be a third campaign, ending recent…

    MotoGP
  38. Pirelli reveals Spa, Suzuka compounds 16:25

    Pirelli reveals Spa, Suzuka compounds

    Pirelli has revealed its tyre compound selections for the Belgian and Japanese Grands Prix. For the Spa-Francorchamps round…

    F1
  39. Espargaró set to replace Bradl at Aprilia 16:12

    Espargaró set to replace Bradl at Aprilia

    Stefan Bradl has confirmed that he will exit the Aprilia MotoGP squad at the end of the season, with Aleix Espargaró set to…

    MotoGP
  40. Vettel: F1 must retain danger element 14:15

    Vettel: F1 must retain danger element

    Quadruple Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel reckons the sport must retain an element of danger if it is to remain…

    F1
  41. Video: Porsche's Le Mans 24 Hours win 13:18

    Video: Porsche's Le Mans 24 Hours win

    Porsche reflects on its 18th victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours following late-race drama for rivals Toyota.

    LM
  42. Button: Williams comments 'very nice' 12:19

    Button: Williams comments 'very nice'

    Jenson Button has admitted that it was "very nice" to hear positive comments from the Williams camp, amid potential interest…

    F1
  43. Nasr hopeful of upgrades at Silverstone 11:12

    Nasr hopeful of upgrades at Silverstone

    Felipe Nasr hopes Sauber will be able to bring its long-awaited upgrade package to the British Grand Prix next month, as it…

    F1
  44. Hülkenberg: Force India can score every race 10:06

    Hülkenberg: Force India can score every race

    Nico Hülkenberg believes that Force India has the package to score points at every Grand Prix, following a recent strong run…

    F1
more news