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MotoGP, QP: Marquez unbeatable on the new track

The Spaniard dominates qualifying ahead of Lorenzo and Pedrosa, Rossi 5th

QP: Marquez unbeatable on the new track

At the end of the second practice on Friday, despite lying ninth, Marc Marquez appeared relaxed. The Spaniard had it all under control and when the time came, he didn't hold back. Having climbed back up the timesheets in this morning's practice, dominating the subsequent FP4, Honda's #93 really proved his mettle in qualifying, setting a best of 1’43”589. A demonstration of strength, he was the only one to lap in under 1’44:  “I made a great lap, perhaps unexpectedly – he said – The team has done a great job with the bike's set-up. I wanted to be on the front row, because you never know what will happen tomorrow. I dedicate the result to my gran and to Luis Salom.

The Spaniard's time was impressive, but more impressive is the gap between him and his closest rivals, or rather Jorge Lorenzo (+0.467). The current champ seems to have overcome the problems he was having during the morning, but the gap remains: “Yesterday was a difficult day, and the track has been altered after what happened too – he analysed – We're struggling in the final sector, but the track is definitely better in terms of safety. I think we've taken a small step forward compared to yesterday”.  

And in addition to Marquez, Daniel Pedrosa's result assures Honda of a double front row (+0.718): “I didn't make the best lap, but I'm on the front row– he said – this is an ideal position to start from. My confidence with the bike has grown, but we can do more tomorrow”.

For HRC, Saturday's results auger well. Opening the second row is a surprising Hector Barbera, waving the Borgo Panigale flag on the Ducati Avintia. Just 0.013 slower than his fellow countryman. The times are very close though, with Valentino Rossi just 0.002 behind him. The Doctor was only able to improve his time at the last attempt, as he continues to suffer through the final section.

Maverick Vinales perhaps didn't meet with expectations today. The Suzuki rider was unable to do more than sixth (+0.740), 0.005 behind #46. The third row is composed of Crutchlow (+0.777), confirming his potential with the Honda LCR, closely followed by the Ducati of Andrea Iannone (+0.869). Alongside the Vasco rider is Danilo Petrucci, unlucky to suffer a crash on the hard front tyre during FP4, destroying his first bike. Tenth for Andrea Dovizioso, followed by Redding and Pol Espargarò.   

Translated by Heather Watson

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