Photography by Gold & Goose
Casey Stoner’s two-year-old lap record of the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli fell today in qualifying for tomorrow’s San Marino Grand Prix and you can probably guess which rider did the deed. Yes, it was Marc Marquez.
Marquez, the 20-year-old phenom and MotoGP World Championship points leader, earned his sixth pole position of the year after smashing Stoner’s lap record of 1:33.138 with the first-ever sub-1:33 lap of the racetrack located just minutes from the seaside town of Rimini. Marquez’s best? A 1:32.915 that came at the very end of the 15-minute Q2 session.
“My confidence feels so good all weekend and the pace is so good and also the rhythm,” Marquez said. “I had a small crash [in practice]… okay was fast corner, but I did a stupid mistake and anyway I now why I crash and that’s important. We will try to get a good start and be there and enjoy.”
The lap was not only a record setter, but it likely didn’t do the confidence level of his rivals much good. After all, Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo ended up second, but just over half a second slower than his new Honda rival. Lorenzo’s best was a 1:33.428 with his lap coming on his second stint in the session. Lorenzo was still struggling to find the right set-up on his M1.
“I’m really happy about having the seamless garbox, but unfortunately we still don’t find the best setting for the bike for this racetrack, so I am not feeling completely great. I couldn’t be faster. Lets hope tomorrow we can improve a little bit the bike and fight with Marc.”
Unlike past races where he’s struggled to get on the front row, Valentino Rossi was able to get the job done at his home Grand Prix, the local hero lapping at 1:33.573 to nab the spot.
“We work very well from yesterday morning on the bike and I was strong in every practice, especially with some small modify with my bike and today it was fantastic with the best setting of the season,” Rossi said.
Row two for tomorrow’s race will be headed by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, the Spaniard set to be joined there by Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, the Brit having to qualifying out of Q1 to even make it to Q2. But things got better once he did and his prospects for a top finish tomorrow just got a lot better on a weekend in which he’s struggled mightily.
Aleix Espargaro will also be on row two, the top CRT man again impressing.
LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl will lead row three over Go&Fun Honda’s Alvaro Bautista and Marlboro Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.
American Nicky Hayden will lead the fourth row after qualifying ninth. Pramac Ducati’s Michele Pirro and Andrea Iannone will join him there.
Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
September 14, 2013
1. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1:32.915
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:33.428
3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:33.573
4. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:33.726
5. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:34.014
6. Aleix Espargaro (ART) 1:34.028
7. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1:34.098
8. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1:34.230
9. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1:34.338
10. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:34.362