Marc Marquez has never been beaten at COTA, but could that be about to change?
FP3 was one hell of a crash fest; so much so, it was easier to list who hadn’t crashed than who had. By far the most serious of the session was Alex Rins. Still suffering with an ankle injury, he succumbed to the gravel and rose holding his wrist. It was later revealed that he had in fact fractured it and would be sitting out this weekend’s GP. Also suffering from injury was Karel Abraham. After a nasty crash in FP2, Abraham suffered a small fracture in his ankle. Surprisingly enough, he was back out for Q1 and it looks as if he’ll be taking part this weekend.
But really, all eyes are on Marquez this weekend. During Q1, it looked as if Maverick Vinales could be the only one to break Marquez’s winning streak. As the fast laps poured in and the time on the clock reached the single digits, Mav put in a stunningly quick lap and took provisional pole. Just as we thought it was all over, Marquez hit back with a 2:02.741, leaving him sitting pretty on pole position for the race tomorrow.
A vast improvement for Jorge Lorenzo sees him starting from 6th on the grid, after we saw him go through Q1.
A seemingly easy ride for Estrella Galicia rider Aron Canet in Moto3, as we saw him set the pace early on in the qualifying session. Championship leader Joan Mir struggled to put in a fast lap, but got there in the closing minutes to put the bright blue Leopard on the front row. Romano Fenati rounds out the front row of the grid.
In Moto2, it looked to be an Estrella Galicia battle, as team mates Franco Morbidelli and Alex Marquez constantly bested each other’s times. As Marquez looked to rectify his mistake in Argentina, he took a tumble into the gravel with Morbidelli taking the advantage. Franco starts from pole position ahead of tomorrow’s race, with team mate Marquez starting in 3rd. Thanks to a tow from Morbidelli, Mattia Pasini slots into second on the grid.
MotoGP Q2 (top 5)
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team – 2:02.741s
Maverick Vinales – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – + 0.130s
Valentino Rossi – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – + 0.932s
Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – + 1.125s
Johann Zarco – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – + 1.187s
Moto2 Qual (top 5)
Franco Morbidelli – E G 0,0 Marc VDS – 2:09.379s
Mattia Pasini – Italtrans Racing Team – 2:09.546s
Alex Marquez – E G 0,0 Marc VDS – 2:09.621s
Takaaki Nakagami – IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia – 2:09.960s
Thomas Luthi – CarXpert Interwetten – 2:09.980s
Moto3 Qual (top 5)
Aron Canet – Estrella Galicia 0,0 – 2:14.644s
Joan Mir – Leopard Racing – 2:15.631s
Romano Fenati – Marinelli Rivacold Snipers – 2:15.641s
Nicolo Bulega – Sky Racing Team VR46 – 2:15.851s
Jorge Martin – Del Conca Gresini Moto3 – 2:15.921s
(photo credit: ridersdomain.com, photographer unknown).