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Marquez sets Valencia pole record

2013-11-09 16:32

LET BATTLE COMMENCE: Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo - either could win the 2013 MotoGP title on Sunday but Marquezs has pole at Valencia. Image: AFP

Mark Elkington

VALENCIA, Spain - Spanish rookie Marc Marquez edged closer to becoming the youngest MotoGP champion when he scored pole position on Saturday ahead of compatriot Jorge Lorenzo for the season-ending race in Valencia on Sunday.

The 20-year-old Honda rider, who had set the fastest lap yet of the circuit in morning practice, broke Dani Pedrosa's pole record from 2012 with a time of 1min30.237.

He was 0.340sec faster than defending champion Lorenzo on a Yamaha, while Honda team mate Pedrosa completed the front row of the grid in third.


Marquez is aiming to oust American Freddie Spencer, who won the 500cc title aged 21 in 1983 for Honda, as the youngest champion in the top class of GP prix racing.

Marquez leads the standings with 318 points, 13 ahead of Lorenzo, the only rival who can catch him and who has cranked up the pressure with victories in the previous two races in Australia and Japan.

The youngster was almost thrown off his bike in a high-speed wobble near the end of qualifying and admitted it had come as something of a wake-up call.

"Yes, I had a bit of a scare on my last lap when I had already decided not to push it more, but when you aren't completely focused, look what happens," Marquez told Spanish broadcaster Telecinco. "It was a little warning looking ahead to tomorrow when I will have to be 100% focused.

"The positive thing is that I am feeling good, I have found my rhythm. Jorge perhaps has a slightly better rhythm so far, but it has been a good outing."


Lorenzo's chances of taking pole from Marquez faded when he had to change to his second bike after losing power during qualifying. “The second bike has a much more aggressive engine and is much worse so I wasn't able to compete with Marc for pole, but we still logged a good time.

"(The title) is very difficult, 13 points is a big gap. Marc has to finish fifth, sixth or worse, which is hard to imagine but anything can happen in these races, where many factors can affect things. We'll see.”

Italy's Valentino Rossi will lead the second row in fourth place for Yamaha ahead of Britons Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith.

Valencia MotoGP qualifying
1 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda 1min30.237
2 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 1min30.577
3 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 1min30.663
4 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 1min30.920        
5 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Yamaha 1min31.113
6 Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha 1min31.201
7 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda 1min31.594
8 Stefan Bradl (Germany) Honda 1min31.638
9 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati 1min31.718
10 Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati 1min31.870

Moto2 qualifying

Spanish champion Pol Espargaro led the way with pole in Moto2 qualifying ahead of Italy's Simone Corsi and Spain's Jordi Torres. The end of the Moto3 championship promises to be a thriller with the Spanish trio of Luis Salom, Maverick Vinales and Alex Rins separated by only five points in first, second and third places respectively.

Moto2 qualifying times
1 Pol Espargaro (Spain) Kalex 1min34.957
2 Simone Corsi (Italy) Speed up 1min35.275
3 Jordi Torres (Spain) Suter 1min35.352
4 Esteve Rabat (Spain) Kalex 1min35.359
5 Thomas Luethi (Switzerland) Suter 1min35.363
6 Nicolas Terol (Spain) Suter 1min35.363
7 Alex de Angelis (San Marino) Speed up 1min35.397
8 Johann Zarco (France) Suter 1min35.412
9 Xavier Simeon (Belgium) Kalex 1min35.469
10 Takaaki Nakagami (Japan) Kalex 1min35.608

Moto3 qualifying

Spaniard Alex Rins will start from pole in Sunday's Moto3 championship decider in Valencia after edging out championship rivals Luis Salom and Maverick Vinales.

Salom leads the standings by only two points from Vinales with Rins a further three points back in third so whoever wins on Sunday will also take the championship regardless of where the other riders finish.

Rins has the early advantage as he pipped Salom by just 16 thousands of a second.

Moto3 qualifying times
1 Alex Rins (Spain) KTM - 1min39.459
2 Luis Salom (Spain) KTM - 1min39.475
3 Maverick Vinales (Spain) - 1min39.744
4 Jonas Folger (Germany) Kalex  -1min39.836
5 Jack Miller (Australia) FTR - 1min40.043
6 Niccolo Antonelli (Italy) FTR - 1min40.365
7 Alex Marquez (Spain) KTM - 1min40.474
8 Alexis Masbou (France) FTR - 1min40.581
9 Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Malaysia) KTM - 1min40.627
10 Efren Vazquez (Spain) Mahindra - 1min40.630

Read more on:    spain  |  valencia  |  motogp

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