9 April 2016
MotoGP Americas: Marquez maintains unbeaten pole streak
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez will start from pole position at the Circuit of the Americas for the fourth consecutive race in Austin after clinching top spot from Jorge Lorenzo.
True to form, Marc Marquez made it a perfect fourth pole in a row to maintain his 100 per-cent qualifying record at the Circuit of the Americas.
The dominant Repsol Honda rider is seeking a fourth straight victory in Austin, Texas on Sunday and has proven unbeatable in the premier class in the USA, winning every race he has started since 2013.
Marquez heads the front row from Movistar Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, with Cal Crutchlow the next Honda rider in sixth.
MotoGP World Championship leader Marquez, victorious last weekend in Argentina, hit the top of the times on his first flying lap with a lap in 2m 03.188s, bumping Lorenzo back to second after the reigning champion had briefly led the way in the 15-minute session.
Marquez's time put him a huge 0.435s clear of the Mallorcan, who is eager to make amends in Austin after failing to score any points at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit following an uncharacteristic mistake last Sunday, which saw him crash out.
Crutchlow went third on the LCR Honda on his first run but only temporarily as Rossi forced his way onto the front row provisionally, 1.1 seconds slower than Marquez.
Lorenzo improved dramatically in his second run, closing the gap on Marquez to only 0.069 seconds with around three minutes on the clock.
Andrea Iannone, who controversially wiped out team-mate Dovizioso on the final lap of the race in Argentina as they disputed second place, powered into third on the GP15 on his second run, but Rossi was on course to improve his time and snatched the position back with a lap in 2m 03.644s, which he held until the finish.
Iannone held fourth as Suzuki's Maverick Vinales and Crutchlow completed the second row, while Dovizioso qualified seventh to head up row three.
Dani Pedrosa was unusually out of shape on the Repsol Honda as he pushed hard for a fast time, but in the end he had to settle for eighth, 1.191s behind team-mate Marquez.
Aleix Espargaro, who progressed from Q1 on the Suzuki GSX-RR along with Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Bradley Smith, claimed the final position on row three.
Pramac Ducati's Scott Redding, Briton Smith and Loris Baz (Avintia Ducati) were the top 12 in Q2.
Pol Espargaro was 13th fastest on the second of the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha machines ahead of Avintia Ducati's Hector Barbera and Eugene Laverty (Aspar Ducati).
Aprilia's Stefan Bradl was 16th quickest, one place ahead of Michele Pirro, who came off at turn one in Q1 with around two minutes remaining but managed to rejoin the fray, albeit failing to improve his time.
Colombian Yonny Hernandez (Aspar Ducati), Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) and rookie Tito Rabat on the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda round out the top 20.
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