Title within reach as Marquez starts ‘The Decider’ from pole 10 November, 2013Posted by Taufik in motogp.
Tags: jorge lorenzo, Marc Marquez, motogp, valencia
Repsol Honda Team’s title chaser Marc Marquez registered a superb new pole record of 1’30.237 in the final stages of Q2 at Valencia at the GP Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, putting himself ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo and Repsol’s Dani Pedrosa on the grid for Sunday’s title deciding race.
World Champion Lorenzo broke Pedrosa’s pole record of 1’30.844s from 2012 with a 1’30.645 lap on his first attempt, but was troubled by engine problems with his number one bike, as well as an issue with the rear brake, and eventually finished 0.34s behind Marquez in second. Completing the front row is Pedrosa, and like Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi – who qualified fourth, 0.7s off pole – he could have a big say in the title battle on Sunday if he can get in front of Lorenzo or Marquez in the race.
The likes of Cal Crutchlow, on his last weekend with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team, and colleague Bradley Smith, are unlikely to fight for victory at the final round, but they will try to challenge for top five or even podium positions. They both qualified within a second of Marquez on row two.
Heading the third row is GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, who crashed out but walked away unhurt. He starts just ahead of LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso. For his final appearance on a Ducati, Nicky Hayden qualified tenth. Meanwhile, Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone and Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci were the two riders to make it through from Q1, but could not challenge the top 10. The best of the rest from Q1 were Hector Barbera, Aleix Espargaro and Claudio Corti who will therefore line up on the fifth row.
If Marquez finishes tomorrow’s race in fourth place or higher, he will be crowned World Champion regardless of where Lorenzo finishes. He has shown that his pace is certainly high enough for such a finish, and will hope for a good get-away off the line. The main permutations for riders tomorrow will be the rear slick tyres, with both the softer and harder options useable. The majority of the grid will use tomorrow morning’s Warm-up to decide.