In yet another hard-fought MotoGP qualifying session on Saturday at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez continued to show that he is on a mission by just squeaking under title rival Jorge Lorenzo’s time by one-hundredth of a second as the seconds wound down to take his seventh pole position of the season, and his third straight pole following Misano.
But this time young Marquez, who has insisted since his arrival in Motorland Aragon that it is one of his favorite tracks, had to push to his absolute limit to achieve it. In fact, he had a scary moment when getting into a turn he lost both wheels of his RCV. “Yeah, it was almost close,” admitted Marquez. “It is a point with a number of bumps which I crossed until that moment with the gas closed. We were in the final moments of the qualifying session so it was time to take some risks. I tried to pass over the bumps with the throttle open…it was a wrong decision. Luckily I saved the moment.” Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa filled out the front row, with Lorenzo’s Yamaha Factory Racing teammate Valentino Rossi finishing the session a close fourth.
The Repsol rider finished only one-hundredth of a second in front of Jorge Lorenzo, who once again squeezed his Yamaha Factory Racing M1 to its maximum. A promising result at a circuit that historically has been his worst in the championship. Motorland Aragon is one of the few tracks the double MotoGP world champion has not been able to win. But as shown so far, he won’t throw in the towel. Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi classified third and fourth, closer this time to the current “untouchables.”
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez...
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez took his third consecutive MotoGP pole position at Motorland Aragon on Saturday.
“The qualifying was so close, everybody was so fast,” Marquez said after the session. “I didn’t expect that lap time, but already on the first round (of tires), Dani was so fast, then on the second one everybody push and was so close but in the end we get the pole position. But the most important was my target to get on the front row. I know that tomorrow will be a tough race because everybody is so close, the rhythms are quite similar. We have been testing to see how we can manage the tires to the end of the race...for sure tomorrow in the warmup, we and the other riders also will try something to try and improve.”
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge...
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo came so close to pole position at Aragon, just 0.010 seconds.
“In the FP4 we made a long run because the bike felt much better than the morning, so I decided to keep running to see how the front tire especially because we had problems with it before,” Lorenzo recalled. “It was OK, the bike was much better, the pace was much more constant than yesterday and this morning. So in qualifying I was convinced to try to make the perfect lap. In the first try I was surprised because I improve one second, so I thought that the lap time would be good to be on the first row and maybe pole position. But when I came back to the pits, I saw I was in fifth position, and a 47.9 from Dani. So I felt was really difficult to stay in the front row, but I knew I had to try. I did a 47.8 which is an impressive lap time for this track; the problem is that Marc again was really quick, and for a little bit we didn’t get pole. But we have a really good pace, which is the important thing.”
MotoGP Aragon qualifying results:
1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Honda 1:47.804
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha 1:47.814
3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda 1:47.957
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha 1:47.962
5. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda 1:48.128
6. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda 1:48.302
7. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha 1:48.653
8. Bradley Smith (GBR) Yamaha 1:48.854
9. Andrea Dovisioso (ITA) Ducati 1:49.219
10. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) ART/Aprilia 1:49.348
11. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati 1:49.428
12. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati 1:50.094
13. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Ducati 1:50.685
14. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) FTR/Kawasaki 1:50.995
15. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ioda/BMW 1:51.030
16. Randy De Puniet (FRA) ART/Aprilia 1:51.297
17. Colin Edwards (USA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:51.327
18. Claudio Corti (ITA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:51.519
19. Hector Barbera (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:51.552
20. Michael Laverty (IRL) ART/Aprilia 1:51.639
21. Bryan Staring (AUS) FTR/Honda 1:52.102
22. Luca Scassa (ITA) ART/Aprilia 1:52.305
23. Lukas Pesek (CZE) Ioda/BMW 1:52.989
24. Damian Cudlin (AUS) ART/Aprilia 1:53.521