Márquez edges out Ducati pair for Brno pole
16 August 2014 – Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez claimed a tightly contested pole position as he edged out Ducati pairing Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone at Brno.
Márquez posted a lap during the final stages of the session to move ahead of his rivals, with the top 11 riders separated by just over half a second.
Jorge Lorenzo initially set the benchmark time but his lap was eclipsed by Aleix Espargaro, before Márquez went four tenths quicker up front, with Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa slotting into second.
Dovizioso and Iannone also edged ahead of Lorenzo, while Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi was near the foot of the times following his heavy crash in the final practice session, after which he briefly visited the medical centre.
Márquez came out for his second run and while he passed Iannone on his hot lap, the Pramac rider hung on to the Spaniard and when Márquez lowered his own benchmark, Iannone used the slipstream over the line to go 0.003s quicker and snatch top spot.
Márquez nonetheless pressed on and re-claimed top spot with a 1:55.585 and was not headed, while Dovizioso vaulted up to second place on the factory Ducati, 0.129s down on Márquez.
Bradley Smith improved from 12th to fourth during the dying stages of the session and he was just 0.004s down on Iannone, who will start from the front row of the grid.
Pedrosa ended up only fifth despite setting the pace in practice, while Yamaha's travails continue as Lorenzo was sixth, with Rossi in seventh.
Stefan Bradl was quickest in Q1 and made the most of his advancement by setting the eighth quickest time in Q2, ahead of Pol Espargaró and brother Aleix Espargaró.
Cal Crutchlow was 11th, albeit just 0.544s down on Márquez's pole time, with Yonny Hernández in 12th.
Ducati wildcard rider Michele Pirro qualified in 13th place having been the fastest rider to fail to make it past the first segment, while Álvaro Bautista edged out Gresini rival Scott Redding for 14th position, with the Brit complaining of a lack of grip.
Hiroshi Aoyama was 16th, ahead of home hero Karel Abraham, with replacement rider Leon Camier a fine 18th for Aspar. Danilo Petrucci led a close group of riders, including Alex De Angelis, Héctor Barberá and Michael Laverty, with the latter pairing posting identical lap times.
Broc Parkes was a distant 23rd while Mike di Meglio suffered an accident in the fourth practice session and then encountered another one at the start of qualifying and failed to post a time.
The Czech Republic Grand Prix takes place at Brno on Sunday at 2pm local time (GMT+2)