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Marquez destroys Misano pole

14 September 2013

Marc Marquez left his nearest rivals trailing by over half-a-second as he set the first ever sub 1m 33s lap of the Misano circuit, in qualifying for the San Marino MotoGP.

The rookie title leader had been fastest throughout free practice, although a lowside fall in the fourth session forced him onto his spare bike for qualifying.

Typically, it didn't seem to hinder him, the 20-year-old holding provisional pole after the opening run of the 15-minute shootout.

Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo then got within 0.024s of Marquez during their second and final time attacks - only for Marquez to respond in spectacular style, setting red sectors all the way around his penultimate lap to pull 0.489s further away for a final pole advantage of 0.513s.

Marquez's 1m 32.915s broke Repsol Honda predecessor Casey Stoner's 2011 pole record by several tenths. It is Marquez's sixth pole of the year.

Home hero Valentino Rossi (+0.658s) will join Marquez and team-mate Lorenzo on Sunday's front row. Lorenzo and Rossi are using Yamaha's new seamless shift gearbox for the first time in a grand prix weekend.

A visibly frustrated Dani Pedrosa (+0.811s) was left on row two, alongside Yamaha Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow - who reached Q2 via the Q1 session and had part of his exhaust fall off - plus CRT star Aleix Espargaro, who produced another excellent performance to claim his second row two start of the season for Aspar.

Stefan Bradl (Honda LCR), Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda) and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso claimed third row starts, with Nicky Hayden completing the top ten.

Pramac Ducati team-mates Michele Pirro and Andrea Iannone completed the Q2 list, with Bradley Smith (Tech 3) and Colin Edwards (Forward Racing) the best of those not advancing further than Q1.

Marquez - who dislocated his shoulder last time at Silverstone but still almost beat Lorenzo to victory - heads into Sunday's race holding a 30 point lead over Pedrosa and 39 point advantage over Lorenzo. Rossi is the only other rider to have won a race so far this year.

Qualifying 2:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Dani Pedrosa
5. Cal Crutchlow
6. Aleix Espargaro
7. Stefan Bradl
8. Alvaro Bautista
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Nicky Hayden
11. Michele Pirro
12. Andrea Iannone


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