AUSTIN, Texas — On only his second MotoGP race weekend, 20-year-old Marc Marquez has achieved pole position for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas.
The Repsol Honda Team rider led teammate Dani Pedrosa, as championship leader Jorge Lorenzo appeared to miscalculate his final run en route to third place.
Fastest all weekend so far with the exception of third practice, Marquez had also topped a three-day test session at the new Circuit of the Americas last month. This afternoon, he posted the quickest ever MotoGP lap time at the Texas venue, delivering 2:03.021 and thus undercutting 1983 and 1985 World Champion Freddie Spencer to become the youngest polesitter in the top class of the sport.
Pedrosa lowered his personal best on the final run but missed out on pole by two and a half tenths, whereas Lorenzo appeared to avoid traffic by touring through the pit lane — only to rejoin the track too late to post a last-gasp challenge. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow — who had not attended the test last month — will head up Row 2 from LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.
The top eight is completed by GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi.
Ninth on the grid will be leading CRT rider Aleix Espargaro, as the Power Electronics Aspar rider not only jumped up from Q1 but proceeded to out-qualify both Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden (10th) and Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies (12th).