MOTOGP: Marquez Claims Record-Setting 13th Pole of Season in Sepang

RaceChaser Staff Featured, International, MotoGP, Motorcycle Racing 0 Comments

SEPANG, Malaysia — official release — MotoGP photo —

Marc Marquez set a MotoGP record with his 13th pole of the season during qualifying for Sunday’s Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Sepang Int’l Circuit.

Marquez (Repsol Honda) set a record-breaking time of one minute and 59.791 seconds to secure the pole ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa, who was 0.182 seconds slower. The front row was completed by Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha).

Marquez becomes the first rider ever to clock a lap below the two-minute mark on a race weekend at Sepang. The pole was also his 50th career top qualifying effort, and breaks the record of twelve poles in a season shared by Australians Mick Doohan and Casey Stoner.

It was the fourth time this year the Honda teammates swept the top two spots during qualifying.

“I am very happy to have taken pole position, because the temperature out on track was very high and it was difficult to do such a good lap,” Marquez explained. “The time was very good — better than I had expected — so I am delighted with how things went today. Let’s hope that tomorrow’s race is dry, but Dani looks to be a very strong candidate for the win; he has a great pace and we hope to be ready to fight with him from the opening lap!

“I’m also happy to have broken the record,” Marquez continued. “Maybe pole positions are somewhat insignificant because they don’t give you any points, but you achieve them by being the fastest rider over a single lap. That doesn’t mean that you will be the fastest in the race, of course, so the most important thing is what happens tomorrow.”

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) both qualified on the second row of the grid, both within a second of Marquez’s blistering lap.

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing), Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) completed the top 10.

Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) advanced to Q2 after qualifying in 12th, but ended up being unfit to participate due to a big FP3 crash, which saw him break a bone in his left foot. His fitness to race will be assessed on Sunday morning.

Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) was declared unfit to participate further in the Grand Prix earlier in the day due to left arm injuries after his Friday crash left him struggling for strength and power.

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