Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez nabbed his eighth pole of the 2014 MotoGP season at Indianapolis. The defending world champion will be joined on the front row by Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso in second and Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in third.
During the initial shuffle of riders atop the timesheet during Q2, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro and Lorenzo each spent time in the number-one spot. Halfway into proceedings, however, Marquez broke through into the 1’31s and took over pole position. Near the end of the session Marquez bested his previous effort to seal the deal.
"I am happy to have taken this pole position, because it is important to start well after the summer break,” said Marquez. “The fundamental thing is that we have a good pace for tomorrow. The tire choice tomorrow will also be important, especially with the rear. We will see what the temperature is like and, from there, decide which compound to use. I am happy with how I am feeling, and we will try to give 100%, as always.”
Dovi and Lorenzo lined out their positions on the grid late in the session. Dovi explained afterward that his machine feels dialed and that new track surface “is much more enjoyable and I’m really pleased with the job that has been done here at Indy.” Lorenzo was similarly pleased with the updated circuit after the first day’s practice, but continued to seek the perfect tire/bike-setting combination through to qualifying.
“We tried a new setting during Free Practice 4 with the hard tire but it wasn’t good. We have to understand what the problem was; if the tire wasn’t right or if the setting wasn’t good. With the soft tire the bike was working quite well and when we tried the hard tire yesterday it was working really good. Tomorrow in the warm-up we will see if the feeling is ok with the hard tire.
“During the qualifying I tried to put in a very good lap time. After the first try I was very satisfied with the lap. The second time I wanted to improve a little bit more but I came across so many riders waiting for a tow that I couldn’t ride like I did before. I went just two-tenths of a second faster, but it was enough to give me this first row, which is a good position.”
Aleix Espargaro heads-up the second row, joined by Lorenzo’s teammate, Valentino Rossi, in fifth. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro will start from sixth.
Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone starts from seventh ahead of Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, in eighth and Pol Espargaro’s teammate, Bradley Smith, in ninth. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Scott Redding and Dovi’s teammate, Cal Crutchlow, will start from 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively, on Sunday.
One rider that’s typically among Q2 competitors, Redding’s teammate Alvaro Bautista, suffered a dramatic crash in FP3. His rear tire kicked-out too far coming out of a corner and when it snapped back the Go & Fun rider was sent flying in the air, landing nearly square on the top of his head. He was able to compete in Q1 but finished fourth-fastest during the session, so will start from 14th on the grid.
MotoGP Indianapolis Qualifying Results 2014
1. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1’31.619
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1’31.844
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’31.869
4. Aleix Espargaro (Forward-Yamaha) 1’32.113
5. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’32.160
6. Pol Espargaro (Yamaha) 1’32.243
7. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1’32.254
8. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’32.331
9. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 1’32.343
10. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1’32.514
11. Scott Redding (Honda) 1’32.714
12. Cal Crutchlow (Ducati) 1’32.794
13. Yonny Hernandez (Ducati) 1’33.166
14. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1’33.294
15. Colin Edwards (Forwad-Yamaha) 1’33.625
16. Leon Camier (Honda) 1’33.747
17. Danilo Petrucci (ART) 1’33.837
18. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’33.948
19. Mike Di Meglio (Avintia) 1’34.244
20. Hector Barbera (Avintia) 1’34.332
21. Karel Abraham (Honda) 1’34.369
22. Broc Parkes (PBM) 1’34.764
23. Michael Laverty (PBM) 1’34.814