AUSTIN, TX, APRIL 12 - Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez continued his total domination of the Red Bull Grand Prix of Americas today in final qualifying, the defending World Champion and last year’s race winner ripping off lap record lap after lap record lap to earn pole position for tomorrow’s race.
When all was said and done, Marquez had his 11th career MotoGP pole position in hand at the same circuit where he earned his debut MotoGP pole position a year ago. The young Spaniard put on a clinic, taking the top spot away for Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo with his 2:03.051 on his second lap. Then he just kept lowering the mark, dipping into the 2:02s with a 2:02.886 before taking it down to the 2:02.815 that earned him pole position.
“Of course I’m happy,” Marquez said. “All the weekend is going good, but tomorrow is of course the most important. I’m happy with what we have found. We will continue to push.”
The Repsol Hondas ended up first and second on the front row for the race tomorrow with Dani Pedrosa just .289 of a second behind his teammate with his 2:03.062.
“Today we did some improvement on the setup and I’m happy,” Pedrosa said. “Tomorrow we will try and improve a little more.”
Hondas will own the front row with LCR’s Stefan Bradl earning the final spot up front with his 2:03.196.
The first non-Honda was fourth and it was the Open class NGM Forward Racing Yamaha of Aleix Espargaro, the Spaniard running behind Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo to steal the spot away from the two-time World Champion. The pair were separated by just .003 of a second with Lorenzo holding on to sit in the middle of row two for the race. Those two will be joined on the second row by Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi.
Espargaro came through from Qualifying 1, finishing second in that session behind Go & Fun Honda’s Alvaro Bautista to move to Q2.
Row three will be led by Cal Crutchlow, the Brit again hampered by a mechanical problem with the factory Ducati at the end of the session but managing a 2:03.780 prior to his woes. Crutchlow’s former teammate Bradley Smith will line up next to him on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha and Andrea Iannone will fill out the third row of the grid on the Pramac Ducati.
Andrea Dovizioso rounded out the top 10 on the second factory Ducati.
Final Qualifying Results
Circuit of the Americas
1. Marc Marquez (Honda) 2:02.773
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 2:03.062
3. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 2:03.196
4. Aleix Espargaro (Yamaha) 2:03.240
5. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2:03.243
6. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2:03.244
7. Cal Crutchlow (Ducati) 2:03.780
8. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 2:03.800
9. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 2:03.842
10. Andrea Dovisioso (Ducati) 2:03.846