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Marquez on pole for Qatar MotoGP

2014-03-22 20:52

MARQUEZ ON POLE FOR QATAR: Repsol Honda MotoGP rider Marc Marquez of Spain took a stunning pole position on Saturday evening for the 2014 Losail MotoGP in Doha on March 21 2014. Image: AFP


LOSAIL, Qatar - Honda's MotoGP World champion Marc Marquez seized pole position on Saturday for the season-opening Qatar GP despite breaking a leg in February 2014 and being barely able to walk a week befoe qualifying.

The 21-year-old Spaniard put in a sizzling lap of 1min54.507 as the chequered flag fell under the Losail circuit floodlights to knock compatriot Alvaro Bautista off the top slot.

Bautista, on a non-factory Honda, was second-fastest behind the works bike in 1min54.564 with Britain's Bradley Smith securing the first front-row position of his MotoGP career on a Tech3 Yamaha.


Early Spanish favourite Aleix Espargaro, who had dominated free practice, crashed twice during qualifying - returning to the pits for a spare bike after the first fall - and ended up ninth.

Double MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo will be fifth on the grid for the factory Yamaha team with Italian colleague Valentino Rossi 10th.

Marquez, who fractured the fibula in his right leg while dirt-bike riding six weeks earlier, looked comfortable enough on his Honda and was all smiles although he said the race would be a different story.

"Tomorrow is the most important," he said. "The leg will be difficult at the end of the race because I'm getting tired. Anyway, I will try. Tomorrow I think we can do a good race."

Until this week's practice Marquez, the youngest-yet MotoGP champion, had not ridden the Honda since his February 6 fall.
When he arrived in Qatar he told reporters he had not been able to walk five days earlier.

"Step by step it's becoming better," he said then. "So, if I can walk, I think on the bike it'll be OK.”

Qatar MotoGP qualification on Saturday
1 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda 1min54.507
2 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda 1min54.564
3 Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha 1min54.601
4 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati 1min54.644
5 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 1min54.661
6 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 1min54.703
7 Stefan Bradl (Germany) Honda 1min54.871
8 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Ducati 1min54.888
9 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha 1min54.986
10 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 1min55.096

2014 Qatar Moto2 qualification
1 Esteve Rabat (Spain) Kalex 2min00.081
2 Sandro Cortese (Germany) Kalex 2min00.101
3 Takaaki Nakagami (Japan) Kalex 2min00.451
4 Thomas Luethi (Switzerland) Suter 2min00.459
5 Sam Lowes (Britain) Speed up 2min00.547
6 Mika Kallio (Finland) Kalex 2min00.621
7 Xavier Simeon (Belgium) Suter 2min00.696
8 Alex de Angelis (San Marino) Suter 2min00.764
9 Johann Zarco (France) Caterham Suter 2min00.806
10 Simone Corsi (Italy) Forward KLX 2min00.831

2014 Qatar Moto3 qualifying
1 Alex Rins (Spain) Honda 2min05.973
2 Alex Marquez (Spain) Honda 2min06.125
3 Jack Miller (Australia) KTM 2min06.365
4 Jakub Kornfeil (Czech Republic) KTM 2min06.515
5 Isaac Vinales (Spain) KTM 2min06.843
6 Danny Kent (Britain) Husqvarna 2min06.864
7 John McPhee (Britain) Honda 2min07.113
8 Romano Fenati (Italy) KTM 2min07.126
9 Niccolo Antonelli (Italy) KTM 2min07.205
10 Francesco Bagnaia (Italy) KTM 2min07.258
Read more on:    yamaha  |  ducati  |  honda  |  motorcycling

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