Márquez sweeps to pole at Indianapolis

Marc Marquez makes it three pole positions in a row at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as his teammate Dani Pedrosa completes a Honda 1-2.

Marc Márquez
Marc Márquez

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez continued his dominance of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to make it three pole positions in a row at the legendary US circuit. The reigning MotoGP ™ World Champion has won the last two races at the circuit from pole position, and signs are ominous that he might do the same this weekend after he was the only rider to break the 1’32 barrier during Q2. The day got even better for Repsol Honda as Dani Pedrosa (+0.171s) managed to finish second fastest and secure a 1-2 on the grid for the Factory Team.

Marquez set a 1’31.884 on his just his second flying lap during the session to cliam his fifth pole of the season in near perfect conditions at the ‘Brickyard’ as the sun broke through the clouds and the track temperature reached 40ºC. Try as they might, no one else had an answer to the Spaniard’s pace in a frantic end to the session, and it was only Pedrosa who managed to get within three-tenths of the reigning MotoGP™ World Champion.

Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo (+0.302s) will start from the back of the front row despite using a two-stop strategy as he looks to close the 13-point gap at the top of the standings to his teammate Valentino Rossi. Cal Crutchlow (+0.324s) was the leading Satellite rider and will start from the head of the second row in fourth on the CWM LCR Honda.

The big surprise of the session was the pace of Octo Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci (+0.359s), who finished fastest in Q1 and managed to carry that pace into Q2 to start from fifth on the grid as the fastest Ducati in his best ever MotoGP™ qualifying performance. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith (+0.385s), who had been second fastest overall in practice, will start the race from sixth ahead of the Factory GP15 of Andrea Iannone in seventh.

Current championship leader Valentino Rossi was third on the timesheets with 7 mins to go, but was knocked down to 8th by the end of the session and will have to work hard to try and preserve his advantage in the championship standings on Sunday. The  Italian won’t be panicking just yet though as two of his race win this season (Qatar and Argentina) have both come from 8th on the grid.

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Viñales completes the third row in ninth while Andrea Dovizioso on the second GP15 will start from tenth on the grid, with the Italian having to fight his way through Q2 after finishing 11th on the combined timesheets after practice.

Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and his brother Aleix (Team Suzuki Ecstar) make up the rest of the fourth row in 11th and 12th respectively, with less than a second separating the top 12 riders. To give you an indication how close it was, Scott Redding (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) only just missed out on making it through to Q2 by 0.079s and will start from 13th.

Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera was the leading Open class rider in 14th, with Australian Jack Miller (CWM LCR Honda) in 16th. Stefan Bradl (17th) out qualified his teammate Alvaro Bautista (18th) on his debut for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini while the Aspar MotoGP Team duo of Eugene Laverty and Nicky Hayden will start from 19th and 20th on the grid respectively.

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