MotoGP

Marquez stakes his claim – Valencia MotoGP

MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez has put himself in pole position for tomorrow’s season-ending Valencia Grand Prix by setting fastest time in qualifying.

The 20 year-old capitalised on problems for title rival Jorge Lorenzo to post a storming lap time that sent him clear at the head of the field, while Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, on the second Honda, complete the front row.

Lorenzo had set the early pace after topping the final practice session a mere half hour before qualifying began, but was forced to swap bikes half way through the vital quali session when setup gremlins meant he lost confidence in his machine. It was enough to blunt his challenge sufficiently for Marquez to take full advantage.

On row two, Valentino Rossi set the 4th fastest time on his final weekend with crew chief Jeremy Burgess overseeing his progress. Earlier in the week, the Italian made the shock announcement that his partner of fourteen seasons would no longer be in charge of his race preparations starting with the first race of the 2014 season.

Britain’s Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith were 5th and 6th fastest on their Yamaha Tech 3 bikes while along the way there were crashes for Michele Pirro, Yonny Hernandez and Alvaro Bautista.

For Lorenzo to overturn the points deficit to Marquez tomorrow he must win with his rival lower than 5th position.

CLASSIFICATION – QUALIFYING – VALENCIA MOTOGP

POS RIDER BIKE TIME
1 Marquez Honda 1:30:237
2 Lorenzo Yamaha 1:30:577
3 Pedrosa Honda 1:30:663
4 Rossi Yamaha 1:30:920
5 Crutchlow Yamaha 1:31:113
6 Smith Yamaha 1:31:201
7 Bautista Honda 1:31:594
8 Bradl Honda 1:31:638
9 Dovizioso Ducati 1:31:718
10 Hayden Ducati 1:31:870
11 Iannone Ducati 1:31:963
12 Petrucci Ioda Suter 1:33:116
13 Barbera FTR 1:32:773
14 Espargaro ART 1:32:807
15 Corti FTR Kawasaki 1:32:961
16 Hernandez Ducati 1:32:966
17 Pirro Ducati 1:32:966
18 Edwards FTR Kawasaki 1:33:203
19 Aoyama FTR 1:33:328
20 De Puniet ART 1:33:869
21 Laverty ART 1:34:018
22 Scassa ART 1:34:113
23 Staring FTR Honda 1:34:805
24 Cudlin PBM 1:34:903
25 Pesek Ioda Suter 1:34:993
26 Bauer S&B Suter 1:35:277
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