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Argentina MotoGP: Marquez on the boil in warm-up

Marc Marquez fastest during warm-up for the 2014 MotoGP of Argentina round held at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.
CLICK HERE to view Warm-up results for the 2014 MotoGP of Argentina.

  • Marc Marquez underlines form in morning warm-up.
  • Aleix Espargaro best of the rest.
  • Lap times close behind Marquez.

If the likes of Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi hope to end Marc Marquez's perfect start to the 2014 season they will have to prevent the Repsol Honda rider unleashing his true pace in this afternoon's MotoGP of Argentina.

Marquez has dominated every session barring the dusty opening practice on Friday morning, romping to pole position by a distant 0.742s over Lorenzo. Marquez's Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa was the only other rider within one-second.

That pattern continued in morning warm-up at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, with reigning champion Marquez finishing 0.624s clear of Aleix Espargaro's Open class Forward Yamaha, with Lorenzo in third.

All but one of Marquez's eight fast laps in warm-up was quicker than the best by Espargaro and Marquez was the only rider in the 1m 38s.

But it was still an impressive lap by second row starter Espargaro, being set on the medium compound rear tyre, which is the hardest possible for the Open category.

Behind Marquez lap times were tight, setting up the prospect of an exciting podium battle. Aleix Espargaro, Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, Pedrosa, LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl and Tech 3 Yamaha's Pol Espargaro were all within just 0.268s!

In terms of sub 1m 39s warm-up laps, Marquez set eight, Aleix Espargaro, Lorenzo and Rossi set four, Pedrosa three, with two apiece for Bradl and Pol Espargaro.

Andrea Dovizioso, who will join Aleix Espargaro and Rossi on row two of the grid, concluded the session just behind fellow Ducati rider Andrea Iannone in ninth, 1.255s from Marquez.

Tyre wear is expected to play a pivotal role in the outcome of the 25-lap grand prix, although initial fears that the rear rubber would struggle to go the distance have receded due to improving track conditions as the weekend has progressed.

Nevertheless, the hard option rear is set to be the preferred Factory class choice for the race - a rare occurrence for all but Marquez, who has taken the hard rear to victory in both rounds so far this season. Like the Open class, the hardest rear compound available to the Ducati riders is the medium compound.

A more difficult choice will be whether to use the hardest front tyre option.

This afternoon's race will be the first held in Argentina since 1999. Ducati's Cal Crutchlow will not be taking part due to a hand injury in Texas, with his place taken by test rider Michele Pirro.

1. Marc Marquez
2. Aleix Espargaro
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Valentino Rossi
5. Dani Pedrosa
6. Stefan Bradl
7. Pol Espargaro
8. Andrea Iannone
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Alvaro Bautista
11. Bradley Smith
12. Yonny Hernandez
13. Hiroshi Aoyama
14. Nicky Hayden
15. Scott Redding
16. Michele Pirro
17. Karel Abraham
18. Hector Barbera
19. Colin Edwards
20. Mike Di Meglio
21. Broc Parkes
22. Danilo Petrucci
23. Michael Laverty

Tagged as: Honda , Marquez

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