Photo by Gold & Goose
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez considered himself lucky, but sometimes you make your own luck and such was the case with Marquez, who earned the pole for Sunday’s Czech Republic Grand Prix by making a bold inside pass on Valentino Rossi late in the Q2 session en route to setting a new motorcycle track record at Brno.
Marquez used the draft of Rossi and then made an aggressive inside pass on the Italian with under 30 seconds to go in the session enabling him to score the pole.
Joining Marquez on the front row is Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, who led most of the session, and Ducati’s Andrea Iannone, who recorded his time on his final lap.
“I didn’t expect to be in the pole position,” Marquez said after the session. “Because Lorenzo was very fast this morning. He did also an incredible lap. But I was pushing my 100 percent and yeah, I was lucky honestly, because Valentino was in front and with his slipstream I was able to be a little bit faster. And then on the last corner, I didn’t know what happened, but I saw Valentino was preparing the last lap and then I say “OK, I need to go in, because if not I will lose too many time.” And then this movement was the pole position. About the race I am very happy, especially with FP4 because the pace was the most important. We improve a lot.”
It marked the fifth pole for Marquez this season and 35th-career MotoGP pole.
Lorenzo, who established a new track record in the morning, led the first half of Q2 with a 1:54.959 on his Yamaha. Marquez and Barbera ran second and third.
As the riders exited pit lane for the final segment of Q2, Rossi and Viñales nearly collided, with Rossi having to take a quick evasive maneuver to avoid collision.
With two minutes to go Lorenzo up his best time to 1:54.849, putting him nearly a half-second up on Marquez. It appeared that Lorenzo’s P1 was safe.
Aleix Espargaro, just a week after breaking his finger at the Red Bull Ring, made a strong recovery to put his Suzuki on the front row, at least temporarily with less than a minute to go. But that would change.
With less than 20 seconds remaining Marquez, running together between Valentino Rossi and Pol Espargaro, broke through to score the pole and a new lap record with a 1:54.596.
Viñales’ hopes of a front-row start was ruined by front brake issues in his final run.
At the final moment Andrea Iannone came through to put his factory Ducati on the front row.
The race will get the green flag at 8:00 am eastern and be shown live on beIN Sports or via pay viewing at MotoGP.com.
HJC HELMETS GRAND PRIX ČESKÉ REPUBLIKY MotoGP Qualifying Nr. 2 Classification 2016 Brno, Saturday, August 20, 2016
|1||93||Marc MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||309.8||1’54.596|
|2||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||308.9||1’54.849||0.253 / 0.253|
|3||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||312.4||1’55.227||0.631 / 0.378|
|4||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||304.1||1’55.324||0.728 / 0.097|
|5||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Avintia Racing||Ducati||308.3||1’55.437||0.841 / 0.113|
|6||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||308.0||1’55.509||0.913 / 0.072|
|7||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||309.8||1’55.748||1.152 / 0.239|
|8||25||Maverick VIÑALES||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||307.7||1’55.787||1.191 / 0.039|
|9||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||310.7||1’55.841||1.245 / 0.054|
|10||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||LCR Honda||Honda||306.7||1’55.930||1.334 / 0.089|
|11||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||305.4||1’56.115||1.519 / 0.185|
|12||44||Pol ESPARGARO||SPA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||308.7||1’56.522||1.926 / 0.407|
|13||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||OCTO Pramac Yakhnich||Ducati||307.1||1’56.148||0.355 / 0.291|
|14||45||Scott REDDING||GBR||OCTO Pramac Yakhnich||Ducati||306.3||1’56.263||0.470 / 0.115|
|15||50||Eugene LAVERTY||IRL||Pull & Bear Aspar Team||Ducati||308.9||1’56.535||0.742 / 0.272|
|16||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||306.0||1’56.718||0.925 / 0.183|
|17||76||Loris BAZ||FRA||Avintia Racing||Ducati||303.7||1’56.797||1.004 / 0.079|
|18||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Pull & Bear Aspar Team||Ducati||305.2||1’56.805||1.012 / 0.008|
|19||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||304.7||1’57.062||1.269 / 0.257|
|20||53||Tito RABAT||SPA||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||307.0||1’57.606||1.813 / 0.544|