MotoGP Argentina: Marquez blitzes opposition to dominate qualifying

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Marc Marquez has once again demolished the opposition at the brand new Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, taking pole position by three quarters of a second from Jorge Lorenzo.

Marquez was able to set a 1:37.683, faster even than pre-race predictions of best lap times, while Lorenzo was only able to manage 1:38.425. However, the rookie champion still not content, saying he was expecting to go faster.

“Yesterday the grip improved a lot and I actually expected even more than what we did, because the grip didn’t improve today. Tomorrow should be a lot harder, because of the life of the tyres, and it’ll be fun to see how we manage the life of them.”

However, Lorenzo was much happier in third, as he believes he can bring the fight to his fellow Spaniard as he continues to improve his Yamaha M1.

“It’s been quite a lot of time since we’ve been competitive in qualifying so its nice to smile afterwards. We made a small modification before the session and I was able to enter the corners with a lot more speed, so I’m very happy with the lap time I set.”

Dani Pedrosa finished out the session in third, only 0.226 behind Lorenzo, with the open class Yamaha of Aleix Espargaro once again beating one of the factory bikes to finish fourth, ahead of an excellent result for Andrea Dovizioso in fifth and Valentino Rossi in sixth.

Bradley Smith was seventh, with Andrea Iannone eighth and Stefan Bradl ninth, after a huge crash left the German with a potential concussion while in second place.

In the Q1 session, a late flying lap wasn’t enough to move Scott Redding though to Q2, but it did allow him past Colin Edwards for 13th place. Michael Laverty will start from 22nd, just behind Michele Pirro, Cal Crutchlow’s replacement on the factory Ducati.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer