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MotoGP Valencia: Marquez back on top in rain-interrupted warm-up

Marc Marquez fastest during warm-up for the Valencia MotoGP season finale.
CLICK HERE to view full Warm-up results for the Valencia MotoGP.

Marc Marquez put his qualifying woes behind him by leading warm-up for the Valencia MotoGP season finale.

The reigning double world champion has the chance to claim a record 13th victory this afternoon, but will be starting from a season-worst fifth on the grid after a fall in qualifying.

The Repsol Honda star had led all four practice sessions prior to qualifying and returned to the top during the 20-minute warm-up, when drops of rain interrupted the session.

The moisture caused uncertainty but was not sufficient enough to send riders back to the pits. Marquez setting a best lap time of 1m 31.675s on his penultimate lap.

Sixth on the grid Pol Espargaro continued a competitive weekend with a close second place (+0.059s) for Monster Yamaha Tech 3, while Jorge Lorenzo completing a top three covered by just 0.073s for Movistar Yamaha.

Lorenzo was openly annoyed at towing team-mate Valentino Rossi to pole position, leaving the Spaniard fourth on the grid. Lorenzo needs to bridge a twelve point gap to Rossi to snatch second in the final world championship standings this afternoon.

Lorenzo looked strongest of all this morning, setting five laps under 1m 32s, compared with two each for Rossi and Pol Espargaro, and one for Marquez. Rossi followed up his first pole since 2010 with a close fifth (+0.163s) in warm-up, just behind Andrea Iannone.

The injured Iannone was pipped to a debut pole by Rossi's last qualifying lap and will start his final race as a Pramac Ducati rider from second. Joining the Italians on the front row will be Marquez's team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who was just 14th quickest this morning - but only one-second from the top!

Between Rossi and Pedrosa in warm-up were Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda), Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha), Aleix Espargaro (Forward Yamaha), Cal Crutchlow (Ducati) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati).

Pol Espargaro, Smith and Aleix Espargaro are battling over sixth place - and the top non-Factory team rider - in the final standings.

Wild-card Randy de Puniet was a cautious 22nd fastest (+2.259s) ahead of Suzuki's first MotoGP race since 2011, with Hiroshi Aoyama 18th (+1.431s) on the new Honda RC213V-RS.

With only one RS available, Aoyama would need to use this year's RCV1000R if bike changes are required due to rain in the race.

The morning weather conditions meant most riders used the extra-soft front tyre this afternoon, but the standard soft and new asymmetric soft are also available for the race.

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

Tagged as: Honda , Marquez

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