MotoGP: Marquez on pole despite 27th crash

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Marc Marquez shrugged off his 27th crash of the year to take pole position for this weekend’s title decider in Valencia.

The Spaniard looked to be on electric pace, clocking a 1’29.897 on his first run to storm to the top of the timesheets. However, there’d be no improvement on the second run after a crash on his out-lap put pay to any further challenge.

Jorge Lorenzo had looked to have the pace to challenge Marquez in the early stages, but he crashed out on his second flying lap at turn 13 and while he got back to the pits, he was unable to improve his time on his second bike and will start tomorrow’s race from fourth.

Continuing to show impressive pace as they have all weekend, Marquez will be joined on the front row by Johann Zarco and Andrea Iannone, but neither were able to break the elusive 1’30 barrier.

Dani Pedrosa and Ducati test rider Michele Pirro join Lorenzo on the second row, while Valentino Rossi heads up row three ahead of Aleix Espargaro, who progressed to Q2 with his brother Pol before crashing out in the final moments.

Championship contender Dovizioso didn’t enjoy a great qualifying, and will start tomorrow’s race ninth. Alex Rins starts tenth and while Pol Espargaro qualified 11th, he’ll start tomorrow’s race from pit lane after incurring an engine penalty. Jack Miller completes the fourth row.

Maverick Vinales was bitterly disappointed to miss out on Q2 after a tough weekend for the Movistar Yamaha team, he’ll start tomorrow’s race 13th.

It was a tough session for the British contingent too, with Cal Crutchlow leading the pack in 16th ahead of Bradley Smith, while Scott Redding and Sam Lowes start 22nd and 24th respectively. 

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing