Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez earned his fourth-consecutive pole position of the 2014 MotoGP season at Jerez, outpacing longtime Q2 leader Jorge Lorenzo of Movistar Yamaha by nearly half a second. Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, will start the race on Sunday from third on the grid.
Lorenzo registered his best time of the day on the first flying lap of Q2 and for all but the final seconds of the session remained in provisional pole position. Marquez, meanwhile, took a different strategy than most during qualifying, choosing to swap bikes mid-session rather than wait for the team to switch out tires. The move allowed Marquez to pull into pit lane twice during Q2 and make use of three tires during the 15-minute qualifier. The defending world champion turned on the jets during his final lap, beating Lorenzo by 0.421 seconds. Sunday’s race will mark the 100th GP start in Marquez’s career.
"I am very happy with this pole position, as it was hard fought and I wasn't expecting it," said Marquez. "We are suffering a little more here than at other tracks, but despite this we are still at the same level as Lorenzo and Dani [Pedrosa]. We changed our strategy at the last minute; I asked Santi [Hernandez] if it would be possible to use three soft tires, and he said that it was. It was all last minute and I am satisfied with how it worked out, but we know that tomorrow is the important day. Jorge and, above all, Dani have a great pace."
Lorenzo’s teammate, Valentino Rossi, heads up the second row of the grid followed by NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro in fifth. Espargaro logged his fastest time late in the session and on the following lap suffered a low-side crash which ended his day a bit early. Luckily the Forward Yamaha rider didn’t suffer any serious injury.
"It was a pity for the qualifying," said Espagaro. "I was lapping in 1’39.0 and I was missing a couple of tenths from Jorge and Valentino to be in front row so I pushed hard but I was at the limit and I lost the front. I’m disappointed but I tried it! It’s not easy to beat the official bikes but we will keep on trying."
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso took sixth ahead of LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl in seventh and Tech 3 Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro in eighth. Pol’s teammate, Bradley Smith, took ninth ahead of Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and Aleix’s teammate, Colin Edwards.
MotoGP Jerez Qualifying Results 2014
1. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1’38.120
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’38.541
3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’38.630
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’38.857
5. Aleix Espargaro (Forward-Yamaha) 1’39.007
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1’39.222
7. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1’39.243
8. Pol Espargaro (Yamaha) 1’39.293
9. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 1’39.390
10. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1’39.751
11. Colin Edwards (Forward-Yamaha) 1’39.814
12. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1’39.826
13. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’39.768
14. Cal Crutchlow (Ducati) 1’39.849
15. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1’40.118
16. Karel Abraham (Honda) 1’40.126
17. Michele Pirro (Ducati) 1’40.239
18. Scott Redding (Honda) 1’40.453
19. Yonny Hernandez (Ducati) 1’40.566
20. Danilo Petrucci (ART) 1’41.009
21. Michael Laverty (PBM) 1’41.124
22. Mike di Meglio (Avintia) 1’41.517
23. Broc Parkes (PBM) 1’41.702
24. Hector Barbera (Avintia) 1’42.052