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Stunning shoot-out for Texan MotoGP pole

2015-04-11 22:18

WARMING UP FOR THE HOT LAPS: Marc Marquez (93) and Karel Abraham during open practice for the 2015 MotoGP of the Americas at the Circuit of the Americas on Saturday April 11 in Austin, Texas. Image: AP / Darren Abate

AUSTIN, Texas - Honda's ace MotoGP rider Marc Marquez pulled off the seemingly impossible during final qualifying for the 2015 MotoGP of the Americas on Saturday (April 11) after his bike packed up on track but alongside the pits lane.

His pit crew had earlier had trouble starting the Spaniard's bike as the session slid into its final minutes but it barked into life and he went out - but the fault persisted as he completed a lap but suddenly parked his Honda against the track side of the pits wall.

WELL OFF FRONT ROW

Showing astounding athletic ability, he vaulted the wall and set off at a sprint for his pit and his spare bike, which the crew had waiting. Without pause he leaped aboard and howled back out on to the track with three minutes of the session left.

His earlier lap times had him well off the front row but - as probably no other current rider could have done - he blasted around the track to, despite all the trauma, take pole by a wide margin.

Here's how it went down ahead of Round 2 of the 2015 MotoGP series...

Marquez's time of 2min2.135 seconds was well inside his 2014 pole record time of 2min02.773 and the race lap record of 2min03.575.

Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, who had pole in the Qatar season-opener, will start second and Jorge Lorenzo third for Yamaha.

'SOMETHING HAPPENED...'

Valentino Rossi, winner of the first race of 2015 in Qatar, qualified fourth and Britain's Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding, each on a Honda, fifth and sixth.

Marquez told Reuters after achieving what was his 23rd MotoGP pole start: "Before the qualifying practice I had more or less everything under control. My plan was to push a little bit with the first tyre and with the second one push 100%.

"When I passed with the second tyre, something happened... we don't know yet. And then I saw the warning and I stopped the bike and I ran to take the second bike.

"Even that was not the correct front tyre and everything but I pushed 100% because we knew that the front row - especially pole - was important because it will be a tricky race."

Marquez's stand-in team mate, Japanese rider Hiroshi Aoyama who has replaced Dani Pedrosa since the Spaniard had arm surgery, will start a distant 18th.

MotoGP qualification
1 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda 2min02.135
2 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati 2min02.474
3 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 2min02.540
4 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 2min02.573
5 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Honda 2min02.613
6 Scott Redding (Britain) Honda 2min02.674
7 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati 2min02.792
8 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Suzuki 2min02.869
9 Pol Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha 2min03.161
10 Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha 2min03.440

Moto2 qualifying
1 Xavier Simeon (Belgium) Kalex 2min09.888
2 Sam Lowes (Britain) Speed up 2min09.942
3 Tito Rabat (Spain) Kalex 2min10.077
4 Johann Zarco (France) Kalex 2min10.102
5 Franco Morbidelli (Italy) Kalex 2min10.135
6 Takaaki Nakagami (Japan) Kalex 2min10.190
7 Julian Simon (Spain) Speed up 2min10.261
8 Alex Rins (Spain) Kalex 2min10.488
9 Dominique Aegerter (Switzerland) Kalex 2min10.513
10 Marcel Schroetter (Germany) Tech 3 2min10.548

Moto3 qualifying

1 Danny Kent (Britain) Honda 2min15.344
2 Miguel Oliveira (Portugal) KTM 2min15.829
3 Andrea Locatelli (Italy) Honda 2min16.090
4 Niccolo Antonelli (Italy) Honda 2min16.101
5 Jorge Navarro (Spain) Honda 2min16.144
6 Fabio Quartararo (France) Honda 2min16.150
7 Isaac Vinales (Spain) Husqvarna 2min16.335
8 Enea Bastianini (Italy) Honda 2min16.400
9 Francesco Bagnaia (Italy) Mahindra 2min16.417
10 Alexis Masbou (France) Honda 2min16.576

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 MotoGP season – fresh reports every week.


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