Painting Texas red: Marc Marquez starts from a stunning pole
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has taken a scorching pole position for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, putting in another signature stunner at COTA as he pulled out an ace on his final lap to take it back from key rival Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). Viñales’ teammate Valentino Rossi was another on a late charge, shooting up into third to complete an incredible front row.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) heads up the second row at a venue that has seen him on the podium twice, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) once again top rookie in another impressive performance to line up P5.
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) progressed from Q1 in Austin for the first time since moving to the Borgo Panigale factory, and the five-time World Champion had an impressive Q2 session – lining up in P6 on the second row, just out-qualifying teammate Andrea Dovizioso.
Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) looks to keep his points lead in the fight for Rookie of the Year from P8, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) just behind in ninth after a crash. Compatriot Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) completes the top ten.
There were also crashes for Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) and Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in the session, with the two men set to line up in P11 and P12 respectively.
From Q1 laptimes, the top fifteen is completed by Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) and Reale Avintia Racing duo Loris Baz and Hector Barbera.
Viñales vs Marquez vs Viñales vs Marquez…qualifying at COTA should whet appetites well for Sunday’s 14:00 (GMT -5) race, with the two men seemingly set for a showdown.
MotoGP Qualifying Results
1 – Marc Márquez (SPA – Honda) 2’02.741
2 – Maverick Viñales (SPA – Yamaha) + 0.130
3 – Valentino Rossi (ITA-Yamaha) +0.932
1st Independent Team Rider:
Pos 5 – Johann Zarco (FRA – Yamaha) + 1.187