Marquez takes pole; Rossi on P5

By | June 4, 2016

Catalunya, 4 June 2016: Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has scored the 61st pole of his career for tomorrow’s Catalan GP, with teammate Dani Pedrosa on the front row for the first time of the season. Team Movistar Yamaha’s reigning world champion Lorenzo will start from P2 while his teammate and former multiple world champion Valentino Rossi will start on P5 from the second row.

Marc and Dani started the day well – despite a small crash for the former at turn 2 on his favourite bike – posting the second and third fastest times in an FP3 session that was extended to 60 minutes to allow the riders to learn the revised circuit layout, introduced after Luis Salom’s tragic incident yesterday.

After working hard on the setup in yesterday’s free practices Marc and his crew decided to introduce some important modifications to the bike settings for today, which allowed him to improve significantly his feeling on the bike. Marc continued his progress into FP4 and qualifying, recording the fastest time in both sessions.

Dani, who has worked with one of his bike on a new chassis over the last two days and decided to use it on tomorrow’s race, snatched the third spot on the front row after devoting FP4 to finalizing the setup of his RC213V.

Marquez said: “We’ve worked well, and this morning we had a good feeling, but that fact was covered up because my crash was on the bike that I liked more. I felt very comfortable in FP4, with a good pace when using race tyres. We did a very good job and everything together meant that things worked out well. I’m very happy with the pole position, but we’re already thinking about the race. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but I want to dedicate this pole to my grandmother who passed away two weeks ago and to Luis Salom.”

From Yamaha:

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo continued his strong results from yesterday in a challenging second day at the Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya, taking second on the grid for tomorrow‘s Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. The reigning World Champion and his teammate Valentino Rossi only had two sessions before the 15-minute qualifying heat to get used to a track revision following yesterday‘s tragic incident involving Luis Salom. After the Doctor changed his setting to suit the new fourth sector he recorded the fifth best time at the very end of the Q2 session.

Intending to hit a clear track, Lorenzo was one of the last riders to leave the pits in Q2, allowing the pack to move ahead. With his first flying lap, a 1‘44.452s, he shot straight into second place. He continued to push hard but was unable to improve his time on his first tyre and returned to the pits with six minutes left.

Two minutes later he was back on track, ready to attack again. The local hero bettered his time but not his placement with his third attempt, a 1‘44.056s lap. Despite a strong fast sector from Lorenzo on his final lap he was unable to snatch pole and took secondon the grid, 0.467s off the front.

Rossi kept the tension high to the last moments of the qualifying heat. Leaving the pits late like his teammate, he took third on his first flying lap with a 1‘45.315s. Having been pushed back to sixth, he put the hammer down and was promoted to fifth on his second hot lap with a 1‘45.138s before entering pit lane with six and a half minutes remaining.

Returning to the track with just over four minutes on the clock offered him another chance to step up to the challenge. As the pace quickened towards the end of the session, the nine-time World Champion moved five places up the timesheets as the flag went out with a 1‘44.324s, to take fifth for a second row start, 0.735s from pole.

 

eom/press briefs from Honda and Yamaha