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Moto3: First pole for home star Alex Marquez
14 June 2014
Alex Marquez broke his own lap record to top the Moto3 Grand Prix qualifying session in Catalunya, his impressive run handing him a first pole position in the Spanish heat.
The Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider claimed a great set-up led to his superior performance ahead of his home grand prix, smashing the lap record by over half a second and leaving him an incredible 0.618 ahead of his nearest rival.
It also gives Honda their fourth pole in Moto3 this year, though they are yet to convert any into a race win.
Second on the grid went to Enea Bastianini after an exceptional performance from the Junior Team Go&Fun Gresini rider, easily bettering his previous best qualifying performance of 13th after consistently reeling off fast laps throughout.
Marquez's team-mate Alex Rins had a huge highside with just minutes remaining but had done enough to secure third. Despite initially walking away from his turn 10 crash the Estrella Galicia rider needed to be removed from the track on a stretcher.
Brad Binder had looked to have found something special during practice and continued his pace into qualifying giving Mahindra their best grid position of the season in fourth aboard his Ambrogio Racing machine.
Niklas Ajo continued his strong run of form, showing the Husqvarna Ajo has what it takes to mix it with the factory bikes, a great solo lap delivering fifth on the grid, equalling his best qualifying performance to date.
Isaac Vinales will be looking for a third consecutive podium finish for the Calvo Team from sixth, just faster than the second Mahindra to make the top ten, piloted by Miguel Oliveira, who secured the last spot on the second row in seventh.
Efern Vazquez had a tough qualifying after an electrical problem kept the Spaniard in the pits until there was just 15 minutes remaining.
With his SaxoPrint-RTG finally on track the Honda rider attempted to make up for lost time but was back in the pits just minutes later. One final attempt delivered and the Spaniard starts eighth.
Red Bull KTM rider Jack Miller lost out in the closing stages, with even a trip through the pits not helping in his quest for clear track. The Australian championship leader starts off the front row for the first time this season taking ninth on the grid.
British rider John McPhee once again left it late to put in a strong lap, the Scotsman's excellent late run pushing his SaxoPrint-RTG Honda into tenth just ahead of the chequered flag.
Further down the standings Miller's big rival for the title Romano Fenati could only manage a 16th place start with his fellow Sky Racing VR 46 team mate Franceso Bagnaia even further down the grid in 20th.
Just one place ahead of the Italian is Danny Kent who struggled his way to 19th on the Husqvarna.
Maria Herrera returns as a wild-card for the Estrella Galicia team again and starts 24th despite carrying an injury picked up while contesting the Spanish Moto3 chamionship .
She out-qualified fellow female Ana Carrasco with the championship regular down in last place on the grid for RW Racing after a massive crash which flipped her off her bike with little time remaining on the clock for repairs.
Bryan Shouten was first to crash falling from his CIP Mahindra right in the middle of the straight early in the session and giving the rest of the pack a scare as they all manoeuvred around both rider and bike safely.
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