Marc Marquez grabs pole position for USA Grand Prix

Marc Marquez has taken pole position ahead of the 2019 Moto Grand Prix of America after a great lap early in the session.

After torrential rain soaked the track on Saturday morning, qualifying took place on a pretty much bone-dry circuit.

Jorge Lorenzo and Danilo Petrucci made it through to the second part of Qualifying after both had difficult Friday’s.

Meanwhile, Petrucci’s Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso failed to make it through and will start tomorrow’s race from the fifth row of the grid.

Dovizioso COTA 2019
Dovizioso currently sits second in the championship. (Photo credit: MotoGP) 

Marquez set the pace early in the second part of Qualifying setting a lap time of 2m.03.787 that would not be beaten by any of the opposition, despite his bike wobbling down the back straight due to the wind.

His Repsol Honda teammate Lorenzo suffered a chain break as he completed his first flying lap meaning he had to ditch his bike just by the pit-lane exit and run back to the pits to get on his second bike.

Lorenzo eventually qualified in 11th position, 1.5 seconds off Marquez’s pole time.

Valentino Rossi and Cal Crutchlow will share the front row with Marquez after a great lap from both riders.

After qualifying, Marquez commented: “Today it was so windy on the back straight and maybe with the setup we have with the bike didn’t help – we set it up yesterday (Friday) when there was no wind.

“Tomorrow the forecast shows no wind, so we’ll keep it the same, but today it was shaking too much – but for two laps it was okay. I’m happy because it’s another pole position after a strange day.”

Rossi said: “It was a difficult day because this morning we did not make FP3, but I feel comfortable with the bike.

“In the half and half conditions in FP4 we normally suffer a lot, but today the bike gave me better feedback so I can push in a better way.

“In qualifying we were strong to so I’m very happy to start from the front row as its very important for tomorrow. Now we wait, we wait for the conditions tomorrow so we can make the right tyre choice.”

Crutchlow said: I wasn’t overly pleased with my lap; I lost the front three times in one lap.

“We tried to change the setup from yesterday because we never had the morning session, so we needed to use the qualifying as a little bit of a test.

“Nobody’s near Marc as we know, you saw him in the damp session before he was two seconds clear, but we did a good job. The team’s working very very well, I’m happy with the team, happy with the bike so everything’s going well so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Marquez COTA win
Marquez won last year’s race and will be hard to beat tomorrow. (Photo credit: Motorsport Radio) 
Pos Rider Team Time Gap
1 Marc Marquez Honda 2m03.787s
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2m04.060s 0.273s
3 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 2m04.147s 0.360s
4 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 2m04.416s 0.629s
5 Pol Espargaro KTM 2m04.472s 0.685s
6 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 2m04.489s 0.702s
7 Alex Rins Suzuki 2m04.534s 0.747s
8 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 2m04.696s 0.909s
9 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha 2m04.941s 1.154s
10 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha 2m05.278s 1.491s
11 Jorge Lorenzo Honda 2m05.383s 1.596s
12 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati 2m05.887s 2.100s
13 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2m05.907s
14 Joan Mir Suzuki 2m06.147s
15 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 2m06.324s
16 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 2m06.464s
17 Andrea Iannone Aprilia 2m06.527s
18 Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM 2m06.543s
19 Johann Zarco KTM 2m06.824s
20 Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati 2m07.129s
21 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 KTM 2m07.308s
22 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 2m07.417s

Header image from MICHELIN Motorsport

By Jordan Hollands

 

 

 

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