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Marquez powerslides to home Aragon pole

28 September 2013

Marc Marquez pushed his Honda to the limit to edge out MotoGP title rival Jorge Lorenzo by just 0.010s for pole position at Aragon, shattering Casey Stoner's lap record in the process.

By the end of a frantic Q2 session, Marquez's Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa completed an all-Spanish home front row covered by just 0.153s.

Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Stefan Bradl all made an appearance in provisional pole during the 15-minute shootout, with Marquez sweeping to his seventh pole just moments before the chequered flag was waved.

Rookie Marquez holds a 34-point advantage over both Lorenzo - winner of the last two races and fastest in June's Aragon test - and Pedrosa with five rounds to go. Marquez's pole time was 0.647s under Stoner's 2011 record and the first ever sub-1m 48s Aragon lap. The Moto2 champion is chasing his sixth win of the year but first in Spain, having been beaten at Jerez and Catalunya.

Lorenzo's Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi was holding second place with just a few minutes of qualifying to go, before being bumped back to a close fourth - 0.158s behind Marquez - and losing out on the front row to Pedrosa by just 0.005s! Rossi has finished fourth, behind the title-fighting trio, at the last four races.

While the Honda riders opted for the harder front tyre, the Yamahas preferred the softer option. All used the softer rear tyre.

Rossi will be joined on row two by satellite Honda riders Bradl (LCR) and Alvaro Bautista (Gresini), while row three will consist of Tech 3 Yamaha team-mates Cal Crutchlow (+0.8s) and Bradley Smith (+1.0s), plus the leading Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso (+1.4s).

Top CRT rider Aleix Espargaro will start from tenth for Aspar (+1.544s), ahead of Ducati's Nicky Hayden and Pramac Ducati's Andrea Iannone.

Smith and Iannone made the Q2 session by setting the pace in Qualifying 1, for riders outside the top ten after third practice.

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


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