BRNO, Czech Republic – A perfectly-timed switch to slicks and a masterful ride around the Brno Circuit saw Marc Marquez run away with the pole position for the MotoGP Czech Grand Prix on Saturday.
In the process, Marquez equaled Mick Doohan’s premier class pole record, topping qualifying for the 58th time in his young career.
Torrential morning rain ceased just ahead of Free Practice 3 for the MotoGP World Championship but left the Brno circuit soaking wet.
Although conditions improved throughout the morning session, the rain returned during the lunch break, ensuring every Saturday session at the Czech Grand Prix was wet.
Able to immediately achieve a good feeling with his Repsol Honda Team RC213V in the wet, Marquez continued to challenge for the top spots as he had done throughout the weekend.
A second-place lap in FP3 had the reigning world champion confident of a strong result in the wet or dry. Even with the rain, the grid was decided on slicks, and Marquez was the first to head out as the dry line appeared.
Expertly navigating the treacherous conditions of the Automotodrom Brno, Marquez claimed the pole by a staggering 2.5 seconds with a time of 2:02.753.
Saturday marked the 86th overall pole of Marquez’s grand-prix motorcycle career.
“At the start, I believed in the slick tires with how the conditions were changing, but in the end when the rain came back and the track got wetter it was difficult,” noted Marquez. “Maybe in hindsight, I took a little too much (of a) risk, but in the end we finished in a good way and I am happy. Tomorrow it looks like it will be a sunny day, so it will be a normal race.
“With the conditions we have had, it is hard to know where everyone is … but the target as always is the podium.”
Australian Jack Miller was second-fastest for Pramac Racing, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Johann Zarco completing the front row of the grid in third.
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, the second factory KTM of Pol Espargaro and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins make up row two, with Valentino Rossi clocking in seventh as the fastest Yamaha rider in the field on one of the two factory-backed bikes.
Danilo Petrucci, Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo completed the top 10 in qualifying.