Marquez untouchable at Austin for second successive win
A jump start ruined the race for Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and he finished 10th after a ride through penalty. Lorenzo took the holeshot after a bizarre error from the former World Champion and he rode through pit lane at the end of the first lap, leaving Marquez clear at the front. Pedrosa tried to stay with Marquez, who was the only ¡Factory¢ rider to run the hard rear tyre, but the youngster sped away to become the first rider to win the first two races of the year from pole in the premier-class since Mick Doohan in 1995.
A first podium for Dovizioso as a Ducati Team rider was great news for the Italian factory, though there was some bad news for them too as Cal Crutchlow crashed out and injured his right hand, having earlier pitted due to tyre problems. Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) missed the podium by just under two seconds after winning a battle for fourth with Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), whilst Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) was sixth.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) dropped back to seventh having been third in the early stages, whilst there were problems too for Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) as he hunted the podium in the early stages and faded to eighth in the second half of the race. Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) was ninth at a track that he has admitted is not his strongest, whilst Lorenzo rounded out the top ten after his mistake at the start.
Marquez on pole for second race of the year
MotoGP qualifying at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas saw Marc Marquez clinch pole with a new record lap of Circuit of the Americas (2'02.886), with Dani Pedrosa and Stefan Bradl joining him on the front row.
Marquez is quick wherever he rides but he appears to specifically enjoy the state-of-the-art Austin track where round two of the season is taking place and he secured his 11th premier class pole position by 0.289s from Repsol Honda teammate Pedrosa – having dominated all weekend so far.
A solid effort from LCR Honda MotoGP¢s German rider Bradl put him at the back of row one as he got to within 0.423s of the rampant Marquez – making it an all Honda front three.
It will be an all-Yamaha second row for Sunday¢s race, with Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) placing his ¡Open¢ Forward-Yamaha fourth, 0.467s off pole.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pair Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were fifth and sixth, Lorenzo registering a time just 0.003s off Espargaro¢s, with Rossi 0.001s behind his teammate. Heading the third row is Ducati Team¢s Cal Crutchlow (+1.007s), in front of compatriot Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Italian Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing). Smith and Iannone were both also just over a second behind Marquez.
On row four, meanwhile are Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini). The fastest ¡Open¢ Honda rider Scott Redding will start just behind his GO&FUN Honda Gresini teammate Bautista at the head of row five, having missed Q2 by just 0.074s. Sunday¢s MotoGP race takes place at 2pm local time in Texas (GMT -5).
Marquez sets the pace on Friday in Texas
MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez was fastest in both Friday free practice sessions at the Circuit of the Americas, ending FP2 a considerable 1.005s margin quicker than Andrea Dovizioso, whilst Dani Pedrosa was third best
Marquez sets the pace on Friday in Texas
Marquez set a best time of 2¢03.490 to lead the way at the state-of-the-art track in Texas where he took his first premier class victory in 2013 and on Saturday he will be a clear favourite to repeat his pole position from last year. Indeed Marquez set his best Friday time on a hard tyre and was less than 0.5s from his own pole record set on a medium tyre 12 months ago.
Ducati Team¢s Dovizioso was the ¡best of the rest¢ using a softer tyre, whilst Marquez led his Repsol Honda teammate Pedrosa by 1.133s. Like Dovizioso his Italian compatriot and fellow Ducati rider Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) made use of a soft compound to lap fourth quickest.
The best of the Yamaha riders was Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) at a circuit which he admits he found tricky last season. The nine-time World Champion trailed Marquez by 1.3s. The impressive Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) lapped sixth quickest on the ¡Open¢ Yamaha and outpaced Factory-equipped rivals Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in seventh and eighth respectively. Lorenzo was apparently unable to make the most of the re-introduced 2013-spec Bridgestone tyre which has been brought to this round and for which he stated a pre-season preference over the 2014 version. Britons Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) rounded out the top ten behind Lorenzo.