Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has stormed to his fifth-consecutive pole position at the Circuit of the America’s track in Austin, after the Spaniard pipped fellow compatriot Maverick Vinales in a cracker of a qualifying session. Valentino Rossi has continued his strong start to the season, completing the front row in third.
Marquez, who has secured pole position at the Austin circuit for the past five years running, had to pull out all the stops to fend off the rapid Vinales. The Honda rider waited until the final lap however to make his mark as the Spaniard put in a blistering 2:02.741s which displaced the Yamaha rider from pole position as he had set the fastest lap only a couple of seconds before. This is Marquez’s second pole of the season and he will be hoping that he can get his championship back on track on Sunday.
Vinales, who was confident on Friday of putting an end to Marquez’s incredible record, had to settle for a solid second position but with the pace the Yamaha rider has shown throughout the weekend, it would be no surprise to see him put the Honda rider’s race record to the sword.
Valentino Rossi proved that age is just a number as he has continued his fantastic start to the season with a front row start. This is the Italian’s first front row of the season however he has easily made his way to the podium from much more difficult positions so the Yamaha rider will be hoping to replicate his race performances in COTA on Sunday.
Dani Pedrosa will start from fourth on the gird tomorrow ahead of Tech 3’s Johann Zarco, who has also continued his fine start to the season by completing the top five and finishing as top rookie.
2015 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo came through qualifying one but still managed to put in his seasonal best qualifying position in sixth, with teammate Andrea Dovizioso close behind in seventh.
Jonas Folger crossed the line a creditable eighth, ahead of Cal Crutchlow who qualified ninth despite a late tumble in the session. Scott Redding rounded out the top ten for the Pramac Racing Team.
Crashes from Andrea Iannone and Jack Miller hampered there qualifying severely, leaving them in 11th and 12th respectively. Danilo Petrucci missed out on Q2 but manged to place his Ducati 13th on the grid ahead of the Avintia duo of Loris Baz and Hector Barbera, who completed the top fifteen.