Marc Marquez continued his domination of the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix weekend by claiming a spectacular pole position on Saturday, beating the previous pole record by over eight tenths of a second. The Repsol Honda Team rider will share Sunday’s front row with his closest title rivals, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.
The fight at the end of Q2 was be to be thrilling, but Marquez’s eventual effort of 1’37.958 sees him claim pole by the huge margin of half a second. Behind, just fractions separated positions two to four which are filled by Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo and Repsol Honda’s Pedrosa – both still recovering from crashes at previous events – as well as Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow.
Alvaro Bautista delivered a solid lap for a top five grid spot on the GO&FUN Honda Gresini machine, sealing a second row placing as American Nicky Hayden led Ducati Team’s charge from sixth. Behind Tech3’s Bradley Smith who will start seventh, the biggest disappointment arguably came for LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl who had been inside the top three in all but one of the practice sessions; the German’s session was ruined by a crash at Turn 1 and he will start the race from eighth place.
Completing the top ten and frustrated to be behind several satellite riders were 2008 race winner Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), while Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone was 11th. Having moved into the shootout for the first time this season, Colin Edwards – the second American on this weekend’s grid – went on to qualify 12th for NGM Mobile Forward Racing. Missing Q2 for only the second time was Power Electronic Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, who is the leading CRT representative in the standings, but bruised both hands when crashing in Free Practice 4; the Spaniard will line up 13th on Sunday.
The grid will be rounded out by American wildcard Blake Young, riding for Attack Performance Racing. After missing seven races through injury, compatriot Ben Spies was set to return this weekend, but has again been ruled out of action following a crash in third free practice this morning; having highsided on the exit of Turn 4, the Ignite Pramac Racing rider has suffered a separation to his left shoulder and will miss at least this race and next weekend’s Czech event as a result.
MotoGP™ Qualifying Practice Classification
1- Marc Marquez SPA Honda 1:37.958
2- Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha +0.513
3- Dani Pedrosa SPA Honda +0.527