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. Tuesday 2 September 2014

  2. Ferrari open to Ross Brawn return 14:42

    Ferrari open to Ross Brawn return

    Ferrari's new Team Principal, Marco Mattiacci, has said that he would welcome back Ross Brawn, should the latter desire to...

    F1
  3. Video: Räikkönen puts on show in Rotterdam 13:28

    Video: Räikkönen puts on show in Rotterdam

    Look back at Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen's demo runs at the VKV City Racing event in Rotterdam.

    F1
  4. McLaren looks to consolidate fifth position 11:39

    McLaren looks to consolidate fifth position

    McLaren says its aim for the rest of the season is to secure fifth in the championship standings. The Woking-based team...

    F1
  5. Two DRS zones retained for Monza 10:41

    Two DRS zones retained for Monza

    The FIA has retained the traditional pair of DRS zones for this year's Italian Grand Prix. Since the introduction of the...

    F1
  6. Alonso insists he will stay at Ferrari 09:14

    Alonso insists he will stay at Ferrari

    Fernando Alonso insists that he has no intention to leave Ferrari at the end of the 2014 campaign. The Italian marque,...

    F1
  7. Sochi grandstand named in Kvyat's honour 08:23

    Sochi grandstand named in Kvyat's honour

    Russian Grand Prix organisers have named a grandstand at Sochi Autodrom in Daniil Kvyat's honour. The grandstand in...

    F1
  8. Honda open to customer teams from 2016 07:12

    Honda open to customer teams from 2016

    Honda says it would be open to supplying customer teams in Formula 1 from the 2016 campaign, having clarified that its power...

    F1
  9. Monza memories: Closest Formula 1 finish 05:07

    Monza memories: Closest Formula 1 finish

    Relive the closest finish in Formula 1 history at the 1971 Italian Grand Prix. Peter Gethin took the chequered flag first,...

    F1
  10. Monday 1 September 2014

  11. Video: Ronaldo, Button go for a spin 18:57

    Video: Ronaldo, Button go for a spin

    Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo went for a spin with McLaren driver Jenson Button at the Circuito del Jarama on...

    F1
  12. I won't give up in title fight, Hamilton vows 18:04

    I won't give up in title fight, Hamilton vows

    Lewis Hamilton insists that he will not give up in his quest for the 2014 Formula 1 title, as he looks to cut Mercedes...

    F1
  13. Van der Garde gets another FP1 outing 16:00

    Van der Garde gets another FP1 outing

    Sauber reserve Giedo van der Garde will get his seventh practice outing of 2014 at the Italian Grand Prix. The former...

    F1
  14. Honda can match Mercedes, Arai reaffirms 14:09

    Honda can match Mercedes, Arai reaffirms

    Honda's motorsport chief, Yasuhisa Arai, has reiterated his belief that the Japanese brand will be able to match current...

    F1
  15. Lotus drivers back Parabolica changes 13:42

    Lotus drivers back Parabolica changes

    Lotus duo Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado have backed the decision to replace the gravel trap on the outside of Monza's...

    F1
  16. Ricciardo collects Lorenzo Bandini trophy 12:50

    Ricciardo collects Lorenzo Bandini trophy

    Daniel Ricciardo collected the Trofeo Lorenzo Bandini at a ceremony in Brisighella, Italy on Sunday. The trophy, awarded...

    F1
  17. 11:13

    Photos: 2014 VKV City Racing Rotterdam

    F1
  18. Álex Márquez seals Moto2 promotion 11:07

    Álex Márquez seals Moto2 promotion

    Álex Márquez, the younger brother of reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc, will step up to the Moto2 class with the Mark VDS R...

    MotoGP
  19. Force India duo confident over Monza chances 10:37

    Force India duo confident over Monza chances

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez are hopeful of putting together a more competitive showing at this w...

    F1
  20. Márquez had 'score to settle' after 2013 09:14

    Márquez had 'score to settle' after 2013

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez says he had a "score to settle" with Jorge Lorenzo at this year's British Grand Prix, having...

    MotoGP
  21. Monza memories: Button caught out at restart 05:00

    Monza memories: Button caught out at restart

    Relive the drama as Jenson Button is caught out by a slow Safety Car restart at the 2000 Italian Grand Prix.

    F1
  22. Sunday 31 August 2014

  23. Aleshin's condition upgraded to stable 15:57

    Aleshin's condition upgraded to stable

    Mikhail Aleshin will remain in hospital but his condition has been upgraded to stable following his huge IndyCar practice...

    Indy
  24. Verstappen damages wing during Rotterdam run 15:42

    Verstappen damages wing during Rotterdam run

    Dutch youngster Max Verstappen has had a minor crash during his first public Formula 1 outing at the VKV City Racing event...

    F1
  25. Williams plans to retain Massa, Bottas – Smedley 14:31

    Williams plans to retain Massa, Bottas – Smedley

    Williams Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley says the team plans to retain current drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri...

    F1
  26. 13:51

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  27. Márquez beats Lorenzo for 11th win of 2014 13:50

    Márquez beats Lorenzo for 11th win of 2014

    Marc Márquez came out on top in a battle with Jorge Lorenzo to claim his 11th victory of the season in the British Grand...

    MotoGP
  28. Lotterer open to more Caterham outings 11:49

    Lotterer open to more Caterham outings

    André Lotterer says he is open to more Formula 1 outings with Caterham, having made his debut in the sport with the team at...

    F1
  29. Gastaldi adamant Lotus can revive fortunes 10:09

    Gastaldi adamant Lotus can revive fortunes

    Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi is adamant that there is 'plenty to look forward to' at Lotus, despite the squad...

    F1
  30. 06:00

    Latest IndyCar photos: Saturday at Fontana

    Indy
  31. Power finally captures title, Kanaan wins Fontana 05:54

    Power finally captures title, Kanaan wins Fontana

    Will Power's voice cracked audibly as he spoke to his team on the cool-down laps at Fontana on Saturday night.  Three times...

    Indy
  32. Video of the Day: Formula 1 in every Renault 05:00

    Video of the Day: Formula 1 in every Renault

    Renault drivers receive an unexpected, special welcome whilst arriving at a supermarket car park.

    F1
  33. Saturday 30 August 2014

  34. 18:24

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  35. Márquez beats Dovizioso to Silverstone pole 15:01

    Márquez beats Dovizioso to Silverstone pole

    MotoGP championship leader Marc Márquez claimed pole position for the British Grand Prix in cool and cloudy conditions...

    MotoGP
  36. Maldonado anticipating tough Monza weekend 13:18

    Maldonado anticipating tough Monza weekend

    Pastor Maldonado is anticipating a tough time for Lotus as Formula 1 heads to the high-speed Monza for next weekend's...

    F1
  37. 12:30

    Photos: Red Bull's 50 Formula 1 wins

    F1
  38. Márquez quickest despite fall at Silverstone 10:48

    Márquez quickest despite fall at Silverstone

    Marc Márquez set the fastest time during the third practice session for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, before...

    MotoGP
  39. Aleshin in 'serious but stable' condition 10:09

    Aleshin in 'serious but stable' condition

    SMP Racing driver Mikhail Aleshin is in a 'serious but stable' condition following a violent accident during practice for...

    Indy
  40. Video of the Day: Singapore winner's trophy 05:00

    Video of the Day: Singapore winner's trophy

    View the winner's trophy for this year's Singapore Grand Prix, inspired by the Singapore Airlines logo.

    F1
  41. Aleshin airlifted to hospital after violent crash 04:50

    Aleshin airlifted to hospital after violent crash

    Russian rookie Mikhail Aleshin has been airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center in California after a violent...

    Indy
  42. Friday 29 August 2014

  43. Castroneves chips into points lead with Fontana pole 23:57

    Castroneves chips into points lead with Fontana pole

    Helio Castroneves picked up his second pole position of 2014 at the most crucial time possible: On the eve of the...

    Indy
  44. 23:57

    Latest IndyCar photos: Friday at Fontana

    Indy
  45. IndyCar to lose Houston, switch Toronto for Mosport 20:17

    IndyCar to lose Houston, switch Toronto for Mosport

    IndyCar confirmed today that the Houston street course would not be a part of the 2015 schedule.   Twice a sight of...

    Indy
more news