Watching Marc Marquez grab a handful of pole positions in his first year in MotoGP (as well as dominate MotoGP practice on Friday at Misano) has surely been an impressive performance, but now at this stage it’s not big news anymore. Before the one the young Repsol Honda rookie secured Saturday at the historic Misano circuit in Italy, he had done it five times before. But in Marquez’s defense, it has to be said that the sixth was different, special.
Marc Marquez set a new lap...
Marc Marquez set a new lap record on his way to pole position at Misano on Saturday.
Marquez had crashed in the practice session before qualifying when he accidentally touched the front brake lever just before opening the gas. “Yes, it was kind of stupid”
, explained the 20-year-old Spaniard with his typical mischievous smile. “I had just released the brake and was ready to open the throttle, but unwittingly I touched the front lever. The front wheel blocked and there I was on the ground. Fortunately the crash had no consequences so it remained in what I just said, a stupid mistake... Well, in fact I would say that the crashed helped me to be that fast in the afternoon, because I knew that at this point I had reached the limit.”
All eyes were on Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo as the qualifying session began, with the Majorcan customarily being the first one out on the track determined to complicate the things for the Honda riders as much as possible. On his second lap, he had beaten already Marquez’ best time of the weekend; the next, another tenth of a second was gone; Jorge’s performance was superb. And it would have given him the pole if a kid called Marquez wouldn’t be around.
The joy in the Yamaha Factory Racing garage didn’t last long. Marquez took over the first position in the timing sheet while Lorenzo and his teammate Valentino Rossi battled over the second spot in the session. With 2 minutes to go the Italian pushed the Spaniard down to third…only for Lorenzo to retake second with 1.23 seconds to go.
Meanwhile, focused on the war between the two Yamaha factory riders, nobody was paying attention to Marquez… until in a absolutely astonishing performance he broke Casey Stoner’s 2011 lap record. Once again the kid has impressed. When asked afterwards, Marc downplayed it. “Yeah, it was not so bad, but what counts is tomorrow, the race. You don’t win championships in qualifying sessions.”
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge...
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo tried his best but it wasn't enough to stop Marquez from taking pole.
In the qualifying press conference, a relaxed Marquez contrasted with a much tenser Lorenzo. Lorenzo explained his demeanor by saying that it was not due to finishing second, but more because of the gap—more than half a second—to Marquez. “I hope tomorrow in race situation things will be more equal...”
But unfortunately the sensation is that Lorenzo’s desire will remain just wishes.
Talking with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso about tomorrow’s race and the expected close race between the four top riders, he stared at me and said, “Obviously you haven’t understood anything. Marquez didn’t show until his last how fast he can be here. I tell you that tomorrow nobody will be able to even race close to him”… Let’s hope it won’t be like this...
MotoGP Misano qualifying results:
1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Honda 1:32.915
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha 1:33.428
3. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha 1:33.573
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda 1:33.726
5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha 1:34.014
6. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) ART/Aprilia 1:34.028
7. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda 1:34.098
8. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda 1:34.230
9. Andrea Dovisioso (ITA) Ducati 1:34.362
10. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati 1:34.362
11. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati 1:34.467
12. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati 1:34.519
13. Bradley Smith (GBR) Yamaha 1:34.869
14. Colin Edwards (USA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:35.174
15. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) FTR/Kawasaki 1:35.534
16. Randy De Puniet (FRA) ART/Aprilia 1:35.596
17. Hector Barbera (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:35.866
18. Claudio Corti (ITA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:35.885
19. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ioda/BMW 1:36.027
20. Michael Laverty (IRL) ART/Aprilia 1:36.788
21. Yonny Hernandez (COL) ART/Aprilia 1:36.844
22. Karel Abraham (CZE) ART/Aprilia 1:36.877
23. Bryan Staring (AUS) FTR/Honda 1:37.283
24. Lukas Pesek (CZE) Ioda/BMW 1:37.886