Photography by Gold & Goose
ALCAÑIZ, Spain (Sept. 28, 2013) — Marc Marquez continued his amazing rookie season at the magnificent Motorland Aragon Saturday, as the Repsol Honda ace scored his seventh pole of the year. He set a new track record, shaving .6 of a second off the old mark held by Casey Stoner.
Marquez just edged out Jorge Lorenzo by one hundredth of a second. Last year’s winner Pedrosa will start third, with Valentino Rossi and Stefan Bradl completing the top five.
Lorenzo got the proceedings going early with his first flying lap setting a new track record of 1:48.201. He was followed by teammate Valentino Rossi who clocked a 1:48.366.
But then the Honda boys got warmed up and Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez and Stefan Bradl shot to the head of the timing charts, highlighted by Pedrosa being the first rider ever to circulate Motorland Aragon in the 1:47 bracket, with a stunning 1:47.947.
Rossi stepped it up on his second set of tires, pushing his Yamaha to a 1:48.032 good for second, but then in rapid succession Lorenzo went to the top with a 1:47.814, only to be bettered by Marquez, making eyes pop with 1:47.804.
That put four riders, Marquez, Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Rossi in the 47s. Just .15 of of a second separated the top four riders. Six riders ran under Stoner’s old track record of 1:48.451.
“We will see tomorrow,” said Marquez, who earned his third straight pole. “It will be a tough race, especially in area of the rights everyone is struggling a little bit. The pole is important. This pole position is a little bit more close than the other ones, but anyway I feel good with the bike. Tomorrow we will try to improve something, but yeah, Jorge and Dani, they have a very good pace and tomorrow will be a nice race in front of our fans.”
Interestingly Lorenzo must have run on the lightest fuel load possible on his Yamaha. He ran out of gas on the cool-down lap and had to be pushed back into the pits by corner marshals. Lorenzo won the last couple of rounds from second on the grid. He hopes that trend will continue.
“It’s strange because in the last two races have been one of my favorite tracks,” Lorenzo said. “I think it’s been very, very far from Marc in the pole position, but now just 100ths (separate us). I try my best to make a different lap. I made one mistake in the first corner. Maybe I lose one or two tenths. Anyway, I think the perfect lap is impossible for any riders. We will try our best for tomorrow.”
Rossi showed good speed and is continuing a positive trend to better qualifying positions. Aragon marks the sixth time the beloved multi-time champ has qualified inside the top five.
Nicky Hayden had a sub-par qualifying session. Hayden qualified the factory Ducati in 11th with a time of 1:49.428. It marked his worst qualifying run this season since the opening round in Qatar.
Similarly the other American MotoGP rider Colin Edwards had a qualifying run he won’t write home about. After a run of three races where he qualified for Q2, Edwards has slipped back the last couple of rounds. Today he only managed 17th on the NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki with a 1:51.327.
Aragon MotoGP Qualifying – Sept. 28, 2013
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 47.804s
2. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 1m 47.814s
3. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 47.957s
4. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 1m 47.962s
5. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 1m 48.128s
6. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 1m 48.302s
7. Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 48.653s
8. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 48.854s
9. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 1m 49.219s
10. Aleix Espargaro ESP Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 1m 49.348s
11. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 1m 49.428s
12. Andrea Iannone ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing (GP13) 1m 50.094s
13. Yonny Hernandez COL Ignite Pramac Racing (GP13) 1m 50.685s
14. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 1m 50.995s
15. Danilo Petrucci ITA Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT) 1m 51.030s
16. Randy De Puniet FRA Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 1m 51.297s
17. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 1m 51.327s
18. Claudio Corti ITA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 1m 51.519s
19. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 1m 51.552s
20. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 1m 51.639s
21. Bryan Staring AUS Go&Fun Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 1m 52.102s
22. Luca Scassa ITA Cardion AB Motoracing (ART CRT) 1m 52.305s
23. Lukas Pesek CZE Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT) 1m 52.989s
24. Damian Cudlin AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART CRT) 1m 53.521s